Dr. Michael Bamberg, professor of psychology at Clark University, recently delivered a keynote presentation at The American University of Paris’ virtual conference, “The Psychology of Global Crises.”
The 20-minute presentation, “Uncertainty – Stress – Anxiety — Have we ever been Certain?” covers several master narratives that are circulating in the public domain and lend themselves as helpers during the current crisis. Bamberg’s talk, which has been prerecorded and is available to view on YouTube.
“As a discourse analyst who works with people’s narratives, I want to show that these master discourses or dominant narratives are often very closely connected and form a web that is hard but necessary to disentangle,” Bamberg says.
His presentation focuses, in part, on the discourse of interiority, which has become the master narrative for the discipline of psychology and is employed as a central metaphor in the exploding self-help industry. In his talk, Bamberg also touches on how uncertainty is grounded in the daily activities that define our lives in pre- and post-crisis times.
“I’m arguing that crisis discourse is limiting us in uncovering the systemic and structural issues of the contradictions people experience and are trying to make sense of during current times,” he says, “and that a focus on uncertainty that does not existentialize and essentialize uncertainty inside of individuals’ interiority, but rather takes it as a relational configuration, may offer us a better tool to reimagine psychology for the future.”
“The Psychology of Global Crises” was a 10-day online conference that focused on the impact of past and current, global and local crises on everyday life.