RE: MM\symbolic interactionism and PCP

Cross MC (
Wed, 30 Aug 1995 11:16:56 +0100 (BST)

On Mon, 28 Aug 1995 wrote:

> Devorah and Malcolm have commented that much work in PCP is performed
> using methods that do not derive from PCP. Can you give some examples of
> this and how you think it is damaging (please, I pose the question to
> anyone on the list, of course).
> Mike Mascolo

In reply to Mike & all (the above read as; "put-up or shut-up") I think
it is not so much the methods which are a problem (methods are after all,
just events with meaning overlaid, but more often the interpretations
(constructions) based upon them and the absence of reflexivity in their
application which is problematic for KE's (Kellian Essentialists) like

PCT is subsumming and therefore we may use and understand any method within
this framework. PCT however requires of the researcher, recourse to, or
acknowledgement of, the assumption that we work with active construers
(see Viney 1987 & her discussion of the Mutual Orientation Model of
Research). This has implications for both methodology and subsequent

In relation to methodology (and even in the context of PCP's historical
method of choice - THE GRID) the relationship between method and theory
has been questioned (see Bell (1988) I.J.P.C.P Vol 1:101-118). In his
paper Richard examines theory appropriate analysis of rep grid data. It is a
nuts-&-bolts, mathmatico-deductive discussion, as only Richard
can provide (his knowledge of numbers has always scared me). This work
and Mike Mascolo's question (>above) remind me that there are at least two
fronts upon which we, as Kellian researchers, are open to challenge;

i) That our methods (structure, procedure, analysis etc..) are rigorous
and have clear and traceable implicative relationships to the theory.

ii) That our questions and subsequent interpretations have recourse to
personal construct notions of personhood.

Mike, unfortunaltely I can't supply a reference to a shabby piece of work
which highlights the problems/issues I've mentioned above. In going
through my filing cabinets it occurs to me that I don't make it my
habit to collect such things. I know it's a bit of a cop-out, however,
the sort of stuff I'm thinking about are research questions arising from
non-Kellian understandings of personhood (some trait or developmental
phase) which uses methods such as; supplied "constructs" and supplied
elements to establish facts about people in general, in the absence of
any reflexive validation of subsequent interpretations (absence of
attempts to jointly share or co-construct meaning).

What do you think?

Cheers malcolm c. cross