Facing Challenges: an Ontological Approach to the Theory of Social Representations

  • Pedrinho Guareschi Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul


As an inspiration for this communication, I would like to revive a comment of Serge Moscovici’s written in his article of 1972, at the Conference “The Context of Social Psychology”, whose title was “Society and Theory in Social Psychology”. Moscovici tried to unravel a complex of theories that resulted in hundreds of experiments of all kinds proposing to shed light in the advancement of studies in Social Psychology. There are certainly many challenges to be faced when dealing with SRs, some regarding the ontology of the representations themselves. I tried to address some of them. I believe they had been at least in part identified. The questions were firstly directed towards the ontology of SR: what does it mean to say that a SR is a phenomenon, a social and cultural environment? And secondly it was asked, what is the relationship of SRs and the different practices, both communicative and behavioral, which may present opportunities for innovation and change? SRs cannot be reduced to a concept; they are phenomena, they are social and cultural environments. They also cannot be reduced to pure words, sounds hollow and empty; they are concrete realities, they are practices, and “wordactions”.

Author Biography

Pedrinho Guareschi, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

PEDRINHO GUARESCHI holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophia from the Faculdade de Filosofia Imaculada Conceição, an undergraduate degree in Theology from the Instituto Redentorista de Estudos Superiores de São Paulo, an undergraduate degree in Language Arts from the University of Passo Fundo, a graduation degree in Sociology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, a Master’s in Social Psychology from Marquette University Milwaudee, a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Pedrinho Guareschi completed his post-doctoral studies in the Social Science Department of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Cambridge. Currently he is invited professor in the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.