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LOUPS Autumn Pub Social 2019: Maslow, the 'happiness industry' and post-psychology

Who was Abraham Maslow? What were his politics? Are his ideas about 'motivation', 'hierarchy of needs' and 'peak experience' still relevant today? Would it be fair to describe him as the originator of the 'happiness industry' that is being promoted by the likes of Professor Seligman today? This OUPS talk is based on a chapter on Maslow and part of an upcoming book about 'social class and psychology'.

In this book I will try to show how the crisis of psychology (and yes, it is in crisis! yet again!) is primarily due to class conflict. Capitalism is disintegrating and the symptoms are becoming more apparent in disciplines such as psychology, that have traditionally been responsible for the smooth functioning of the system. By focusing on pioneering individuals such as Freud, R. D. Laing, Carl Rogers, Otto Gross, Watson, Frankl, Billig (and many others), I will argue that both 'mainstream' and 'critical' forms of psychology have come to the end of the road. At their best both developed ideas worthy of attention, but today no amount of technological sophistry can hide their deterioration . What we need is something better than psychology. For want of a better word, I have called this something better, post-psychology ! The talk will focus on Maslow’s potential contribution to post-psychology.

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We were delighted to welcome Dr. Babak Fozooni back to LOUPS to present this talk. Babak is a psychologist specialising in social, developmental and political psychology. He has obtained six degrees and has written on topics ranging from discourse analysis and crowd psychology to cinema and sport ("What is Critical Social Research?" Volumes I and II, available from Amazon). He is also an OU associate lecturer on the D240, DD310, DE300, DD801 modules.

Babak has kindly made the slides from his lecture available, and these can be accessed by clicking Abraham Maslow, the 'happiness industry' and post-psychology.pdf


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