The Populist Debasing of Social Theory: Liberation Psychology, Cultural-Historical Psychology, and Historical Materialism

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


This chapter examines populism in social theory, as opposed to populist political movements in Chap.  5. We demonstrate that populists have misinterpreted emancipatory social theories such as Liberation Psychology, cultural-historical psychology, and historical materialism. We engage in textual analyses of these populist interpretations. They have sought to reduce objective, structural, political-economic, historical-materialist cornerstones of these three social theories to individual, interpersonal, subjectivistic constructs. They often pay lip service to the founders of these theories while distorting their ideas. We shall critique the populist misinterpretations. They contradict the original writings, and they contradict the scientific evidence that supports the original writings.


Liberation Psychology Psychoanalysis Revisionism Cultural-historical activity theory Montero Subjectivism Agency 


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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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