Viewing Critical Psychology through the Lens of Queer

Lisa Downing*, Robert Gillett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article constitutes an intervention by two arts and humanities scholars with an expertise in queer studies and an outsider's interest in the discipline of critical psychology. First, it proposes a critical comparative history of the homosexual rights movements that predates 'queer' and the development of the discipline of psychology. Second, it examines some of the most recent currents in queer theory and tests their applicability to psychology. In particular, it looks at the modes of ethical philosophy that have been engaged by the so-called antisocial turn in queer and asks to what extent post-structuralist models of ethics might trouble the foundational belief in a normative idea(l) of health, in which even progressive critical psychology has an investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Special issue on 'Queer(y)ing Psychology', ed. Peter Hegarty


  • Antisocial turn
  • Arts and humanities perspectives
  • Critical psychology
  • Emmanuel Levinas
  • Ethics
  • Health and harm
  • History
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Michel Foucault
  • Queer theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Gender Studies


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