Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 590–601 | Cite as

Revisiting Bruner’s Legacy from the Perspective of Historical Materialism

  • Shuangshuang XuEmail author
Regular Article


The book Jerome S. Bruner beyond 100: cultivating possibilities (2015) is a celebration and a continuing development of Jerome S. Bruner’s contribution in psychology. As a review of this book, this article aims to commemorate Bruner’s legacy by developing it further. The main content of the book is summarized into four issues: culture and language, narrative and folk psychology, dilemmas and shared dilemmas, subjectivity and intersubjectivity. Hegel’s contribution to ‘social reality’ and Karl Marx’s historical materialism are introduced to discuss the relation between the individual and his world, which is fundamental in Bruner’s psychological inquiry and also a key question underlying the four issues. In the horizon of the ontological revolution launched by historical materialism, the difference between sensuous consciousness and pure consciousness and the dynamic process of social discourse interweaving sensuous consciousness and ideology is discussed and revisited. By integrating nature and society on the dimension of historicity, historical materialism can inspire psychology to understand the historical construction of human existence.


Jerome S. Bruner Social reality Historical materialism Sensuous consciousness Historicity 



Thanks to Giuseppina Marsico of University of Salerno for inviting me to write this article. Also many thanks to Luca Tateo and Jaan Valsiner of Centre of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark, for their critical reading and precious suggestions on revising the article. Last but not least, many thanks to Defeng Wang and Xiaoming Wu of Department of Philosophy, Fudan University, China, for constantly inspiring me in my academic journey with cultural psychology.


This study was funded by China Scholarship Council (CSC).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Cultural PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

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