Review: Erica Burman (2008). Deconstructing Developmental Psychology


  • Bróna Nic Giolla Easpaig Charles Sturt University
  • David Fryer University of Queensland



deconstruction, developmental psychology, critical, discourse, power, oppression, academic institution


We here offer a review of Erica BURMAN's "Deconstructing Developmental Psychology" (2nd ed.) in the form of a critical reading of the book in so far as it relates to matters of knowledge and power, the truthing of particular claims, and to critical pedagogy. We express some concern about the vulnerability of students in mainstream higher psychology education contexts reading this textbook who might be penalised for resisting, as this book encourages them to do, the prescribed accounts of psychology which they are more generally required to digest and regurgitate. However we argue that the first two chapters alone provide the reader with a whole critical psychology education, which does more than touch on imperialism, colonisation and patriarchy and brilliantly links the inventions of psychology to the major issues of our time. We argue that one of the strongest features of the book is the way in which it addresses oppressive discourses which are reproduced in developmental psychology, particularly concerning gender, racism, disabling practices, and oppressive practices. This textbook is powerful in deconstructing oppressive discourses which masquerade as forms of "legitimate truth" and in equipping the reader to identify and critique research processes which privilege certain types of knowledge above others. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1001127


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Author Biographies

Bróna Nic Giolla Easpaig, Charles Sturt University

Bróna NIC GIOLLA EASPAIG works from a community critical and feminist psychology standpoint at Charles Sturt University.

David Fryer, University of Queensland

David FRYER works from a community critical psychology standpoint at Charles Sturt University.




How to Cite

Nic Giolla Easpaig, B., & Fryer, D. (2009). Review: Erica Burman (2008). Deconstructing Developmental Psychology. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1).