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Dorte Marie Søndergaard

Psychology, Ethics, and New Materialist Thinking - Using a Study of Sexualized Digital Practices as an Example

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This article suggests expanding the ethical concerns in psychological research from a focus on the wellbeing and integrity of individuals to also include human living and becoming, and more-than-human worlding. Bringing in conceptualizations from new materialist thinking the concepts of care, compassion and empathy are discussed and directed towards concern, not only for individuals, but also for the apparatusses of which we are, and even more comprehensive apparatuses in the era which Haraway has termed the Chthulucene. An example in terms of internet research on digital sexualized practices among young people serves the purpose of challenging these ideas. I argue that it is only by vitalizing all parts of the apparatus, including potentially destructive dimensions, and allowing all forces and phenomena access to transformative intra-agency that psychological researchers can enable ethically produced knowledge. In keeping research capacities to empathize and care away from particular parts of the apparatus(es) that produce given phenomena, such as abuse, bullying, harassment, and marginalization, researchers risk devitalizing and contributing to congeal those parts, and thereby also hampering or constraining a potential transformation of and from within intra-agencies involving those parts in the apparatus.
TidsskriftHuman Arenas - An interdisciplinary Journal of Psychology, Culture, and Meaning
Sider (fra-til)483-498
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2019


  • Ethics, Ethics in psychology, New materialst theory, Social Media, Sexualized digital abuse, Young People, Digital practices, Chthulucene, Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Bullying

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