Understanding Social Representation Theory as a Paradigm: Some Problems
Several authors have considered Social Representations Theory as a paradigm in the sense of Kuhn's philosophy. We allow ourselves to question this attribution. On the one hand, unlike the “normal science” postulated by Kuhn, research has not only solved empirical problems. Conceptual controversies, which have been crucial in its modification, have been included throughout the history of this theory. On the other hand, ontological commitments do not only emerge from the activity of the scientific community but are linked to world conflicts and conceptions, which are, in turn, linked to historical contexts. Finally, the relative lack of analysis of the moral and political value dimension in scientific knowledge production in the definition of paradigms, severely constrain it in the case of the Theory of Social Representations. Finally, when intervening these values, social psychologists face the need to reconsider the epistemological concept of objectivity which includes critically viewing these values rather than ignoring them.