, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 426–441 | Cite as

Psychosocial textuality: Religious identities and textual constructions

  • Stephen Frosh
Original Article


This article tries to articulate what it might mean to talk about a ‘psychosocial’ approach to certain kinds of performative texts. The texts in question are those that are drawn upon by members of specific groups to define their group identity and to lend meaning to individual experiences and to define personal worldviews. It is suggested that ‘psychosocial’ readings, which draw on narrative, discursive and psychoanalytic traditions of interpretation, might embrace a political project of opening out these texts for inspection of the ‘subjugated’ or non-hegemonic narratives embedded in them. This involves constructing grounded readings that, as well as attending to the ‘traces’ of alternative arguments to be found in the texts, also appreciate and engage with the interpretive practices of the communities to which these texts speak. One implication of this is that such psychosocial readings have to embrace both an ‘insider’ and an ‘outsider’ view of such texts, and in particular to deploy a marginal practice that acknowledges and contests traditional or ‘orthodox’ readings.


psychosocial studies diasporic identities religious texts cultural identity 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Frosh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial StudiesBirkbeck CollegeLondonUK

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