Creating Promising Futures Through Social Construction
Alberta Contarello is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Padova, Italy. Her fields of teaching and research are Social Psychology and Qualitative Methods in SP Research. Her research interests have regarded and regard the following fields: a. social psychology of interpersonal relations, mainly in historical and comparative perspective; b. nonverbal cues in social interaction, with focus on the communicative role of gestures and facial expressions; c. social psychology of emotions, Self and identity; d. social psychology and literature, with archive research on Self and social relationships. Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, UK (1996) as well as, more briefly, of Budapest/Pécs, Hungary and Florianopolis, Brazil, she enjoys cultural exchanges and co-authored various cross-cultural and inter-cultural studies. Her current interests concern the social construction of knowledge, with particular regard to social issues in phases of change and debate. The macro-level theme is social inclusion vs. exclusion, while specific themes regard aging, science&gender, ICTs, environmental conflicts and social well-being (http://dpa.psy.unipd.it/it/index.php?p=25&id=29)
Theoretically, she has adopted a social constructivist macro-frame, i.e. a social constructivist stance which takes into account psychological processes and places particular emphasis on membership, praxis and value endorsement (cf., co-written with Bruno Mazzara The Social Dimensions of Psychological Processes Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2000, in Italian). She is thus in dialogue with social constructionism but also with the social representations approach, mainly from narrative and relational angles.
Her commitment – as well as her research group’s - is to work in partnership with participants, acknowledging the situated mark of social interaction, in view of potential generation of new perspectives and horizons.