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Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas)

versión On-line ISSN 1982-0275


ELHAMMOUMI, Mohamed. Marxist psychology: a research paradigm whose time has come. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2012, vol.29, n.1, pp.3-11. ISSN 1982-0275.

This paper seeks to retrieve Marx's ideas about the development of psychology. It offers historical perspectives on different attempts to create a Marxist psychology that shed light on its scope and trajectory. According to Marx, concrete social and material real life play a key role in the development of human psychological functions. Later, Vygotsky, Wallon, Politzer, Leontiev, Luria, Sève among others built on Marx's ideas. These psychologists suggested that individual psychological functions are formed and shaped in concrete, cultural, social, historical circumstances, and pictured an organizing, creative force driving individual activity (instead of behavior). Marxist psychology is the study of the social individual within social relations of production. In a Marxist sense, the emphasis is placed on production, both material and social as the essence of social relations. Hence, psychology cannot be dealt with in an abstract, private and individual manner as the capitalist mode of production would want, but must be seen in terms of the social individual that is formed, structured, and shaped within the social relations of a production framework. In this context, the social production of the individual (as developed in Marx's Die Grundrisse) signifies social relations between people connected with concrete common real social conditions and material production. Production, both social and material, is the totality of social relations. In the process of production, social individuals act not only upon nature but also upon one another, they enter into a definite rich web of connections and relations to one another. Marx's writings encompassed the fields of psychology and made a substantial contribution to the stock of knowledge about human nature processes. Marx never wrote a full-length treatise on psychology, though his own work is the outstanding example of psychological conceptualizations. This paper stresses the decisive relevance of Marx's psychological conceptions for a paradigm shift whose time has come.

Palabras clave : Communism; Marxist psychology; Social interaction.

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