Vol. 14:2 (2004) ► pp.303–322
Narrative form and the morality of psychology's gendering stories
In this article we read particular fragments of poststructuralist theory to constitute a narrative epistemological position that enables us to question the morality of psychology's narratives of gendered subjectivities. Drawing on the work of Lyotard (1984) and White (1987) we theorise narrative form as complicit with moral order and the morality of subject positioning. We then question the positioning of a particular woman through a narrative telling of her psychology. The specific narrative is the judge's summation in a murder trial where the case is defended through a plea of insanity. The accused woman's psychology is told through reference to trial evidence: the expert testimony of psychologists and psychiatrists. We read fragments from the judge's summation and from expert testimony to exemplify the moral order of the positioning they enable and constrain. Finally, we discuss the implications of our reading for interventions into the social power relations of legitimate psychological knowledges. (Feminism, Poststructuralism, Narrative, Morality, Insanity, Mental Disorder)
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