Cover image for Modernizing the mind : psychological knowledge and the remaking of society
Modernizing the mind : psychological knowledge and the remaking of society
Ward, Steven C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 279 pages ; 24 cm
How truth travels : knowledge, networks, and the organization of society -- From a moral philosophy to a science : the struggle to construct and defend the "new psychology" -- For the children : the alliance of psychology and education -- Molding morals and minds : psychology and the modernization of parenting -- Minds, measures, and machines : the materialization of psychological ideas -- A séance or a science? : psychology and its publics -- Psychological codes of civility and the practice of everyday life -- The psychologically examined life : issues, healing, closure, and the psychotherapeutic self -- Conclusiong : The psychologization of the United States -- Appendix : A few important dates in the history of American psychology.
Reading Level:
1470 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF105 .W35 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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When did fidgety children begin to suffer from attention deficit disorder? How did frightened people come to be called paranoid? Why are we considered to have emotional intelligence and not simply caring personalities?

While psychological knowledge began in the relative isolation of laboratories and universities, it has since permeated various professions, institutions, and everyday life. Society and our conceptions of self have fundamentally changed with psychology's modernization of the mind. Ward provides a social and cultural history of the spread of psychological knowledge, assessing the way this proliferation has reconfigured society's meaning, and the way people view themselves and others.

Using ideas borrowed from science and technology studies, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of organizations, Ward examines how American psychology established itself as the central purveyor of truth about the mind and self in the 20th century. He examines how psychology has essentially become common knowledge, and his innovative account offers a novel theory about the growth and influence of numerous different knowledge forms.

Author Notes

Steven C. Ward is Associate Professor of Sociology at Western Connecticut State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
1 How Truth Travels: Knowledge, Networks and the Organization of Societyp. 9
2 From a Moral Philosophy to a Science: the Struggle to Construct and Defend the "new Psychology"p. 33
Notesp. 57
3 For the Children: the Alliance of Psychology and Educationp. 59
4 Molding Morals and Minds: Psychology and the Modernization of Parentingp. 85
Notesp. 109
5 Minds, Measures and Machines: the Materialization of Psychological Ideasp. 111
6 A Séance or a Science? Psychology and Its Publicsp. 139
7 Psychological Codes of Civility and the Practice of Everyday Lifep. 165
8 The Psychologically Examined Life: Issues, Healing, Closure and the Psychotherapeutic Selfp. 189
9 Conclusion: the Psychologization of the United Statesp. 217
Referencesp. 243
Indexp. 275