Social-Psychological-Political Emancipation According to Cultural-Historical/Macro Cultural Psychology

  • Carl RatnerEmail author
Part of the Critical Theory and Practice in Psychology and the Human Sciences book series (CTPPHS)


This chapter applies the culture theory of cultural-historical psychology and Liberation Psychology to conceptualize social emancipation. We take Vygotsky’s use of historical materialism to explain the need to transform the political-economic base of society. This provides maximal emancipation from the status quo. Particular cultural factors must follow this lead. A hierarchy of different kinds of social change is enumerated, with political change the most complete. We show how civil rights are far less emancipatory because they welcome people into the status quo without changing their fundamental social relations. Identity politics is also shown to be less emancipatory in this hierarchy.


Political emancipation Personal emancipation Historical materialism Identity politics Civil rights Punishment Pollution Feminism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Cultural Research and EducationTrinidadUSA

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