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Questioning consensus in social representations theory

Rose, Diana, Efraim, Danielle, Gervais, Marie-Claude, Joffe, Helene, Jovchelovitch, Sandra and Morant, Nicola (1995) Questioning consensus in social representations theory. Papers on Social Representations, 4 (2). pp. 150-176. ISSN 1021-5573

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Abstract

This paper by the LSE Social Representations Group, challenges the notion that consensus defined as 'agreement in opinion' is at the heart of the theory of social representations. We suggest that the problem of consensus is a highly complex aspect of social life requiring appraisal. Consensus refers neither to mere agreement nor to the mere sharedness of attitudes, opinions and values by a social group. While these are the most common interpretations circulating in the literature, they fail to apprehend the different levels of analysis required to understand the social construction of symbolic realities. In this paper we criticise the most common notions of consensus and propose an alternative view. There is space in the theory of social representations to develop a more refined approach to the issue. We make use of this space in order to construct our argument that consensus in social representations exists at several levels. We propose the idea of a representational field simultaneously characterised by consensus, inconsistency and ambivalence. The issue of power within this heterogenous representational field is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.psr.jku.at/
Additional Information: © 1995 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2007
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/2590/

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