A Postmodern Psychology of Asian Americans: Creating by Laura Uba
By Laura Uba
Demanding situations current paradigms of information as they relate to Asian americans.
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Extra resources for A Postmodern Psychology of Asian Americans: Creating Knowledge of a Racial Minority (S U N Y Series, Alternatives in Psychology)
It is (past) time for psychology to reconceptualize the ﬁeld, its assumptions and methods. Over the last few decades and in various disciplines, alternative epistemologies have been examined and employed, notably in two overlapping, postmodern conversations (Polkinghorne, 1990). A general conversation, carried on by Michael Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean François Lyotard, and others, describes the futility of seeking any one epistemological foundation that assures certain knowledge, denies creators have the ﬁnal word on the meaning of what they produce, and challenges conventional ideas about meaning and structure (Denzin, 1994).
When social scientists lay out research ﬁndings as simply facts, apart from underlying assumptions and behind the shield of following scientiﬁc protocols, they augment the mystique and power of their knowledge claims. Much of the power of scientiﬁc narratives rests with a rhetorical authority socially assigned to scientists as fact ﬁnders. Although those who know scientiﬁc procedures are supposedly anointed with the ability to produce knowledge, behavioral scientists could instead be viewed as people who have just learned to interpret behaviors in prescribed ways.
Multiple, varied, and sometimes contradictory orientations have been subsumed under the appellation of postmodernism (see Grifﬁn, 1989; Ritzer, 1997). , Derrida compared to Lyotard) as well as the application of postmodern ideas to different domains, such as art and architecture. postmodernism 25 Of particular interest here is another, related conversation concerning postmodernism and the philosophy of science. Postmodernism has challenged epistemological tenets of modernist science, such as the belief in an objectively knowable, referent reality; the faith that positivist data, born of questionable assumptions, provide an unassailable foundation; and the contention that psychological knowledge must be about a modernist foundation or scientiﬁcally articulable (Hollinger, 1994; Rosenau, 1992).