The Social-Historical Approach and Contemporary Social Psychology

Autores: Roberto Corral Ruso, Mario Rodríguez-Mena García 
Publicado en: En R. Machín (ed.), New Waves in Social Psychology (pp. 55-81). Editorial Palgrave Macmillan

Contemporary social psychology is expressed in dissimilar proposals. Some of them are very new, others are more focused on variations of old traditions, but with partial and poorly integrated visions. This chapter attempts a possible integration from the social-historical approach, created by L.S. Vygotski a century ago. It presents evidence of its application in a line of transforming social research: the training of social actors in their different fields of action, where the concepts of learning are central, socially oriented to the processes of change in environments of educational, organizational, and community daily practices; the communities of practice that become learning communities, when appropriate learning situations are created that place the learner in a leading and decision-making role; competencies, as a relational and dialectical category, whose identification, training, and evaluation require mobilizing personal resources in contexts of social interaction. It adheres to a dialectical epistemology, participatory methodologies, and ecological evaluation systems carried out by the participants themselves. It considers dialogue as its most valuable instrument for transformation from practice, first as awareness of the personal and group place, then as intention and possibility of change, and finally as design and realization. It articulates to the proposal of Vygotsky’s social-historical approach, different theoretical and methodological referents such as E. Pichón-Riviere, Paulo Freire, Kenneth Gergen, Dora Fried, Étienne Wenger, and Pierre Lévy. It is based on several empirical researches, but its greatest value lies in the fact that it offers a reference to interpret other researches in the path of integration.