This edition of Psybernetika marks the passing on of the editorial reins. As the new editors, our first task is to commend Randy Tonks on the excellent job he has done keeping Psybernetika alive and kicking over the past three and a half years. His hard work and perseverance have continued to provide young scholars with a forum for their ideas. We hope that we are able to continue on in this fashion, for it is our shared belief that providing a platform for academic discourse gives students incentive to be active contributors to psychological knowledge.
With the growing trend toward specialization within the discipline of psychology, the vision of academic work tends to be somewhat myopic. Communication between scholars, each focusing on particular questions, is becoming increasingly difficult. From its origins psychology as a discipline has lacked cohesion, and it is perhaps now more fragmented that ever before.
It may be the case that a unified psychology will be forever ephemeral; that is, it is possible that its evolutions will tend towards further fragmenting and fracturing. However, if no attempt is made to facilitate intra-disciplinary discourse, can psychology be anything more than a series of baroque portraits frozen in time?
It is our view that Psybernetika can provide fertile ground for students committed to widely varying areas of research to complement and add to their ideas. As the editors of this journal, one of our goals is to encourage submissions from students interested in all areas of psychological enquiry. We do not abandon the hope that through diversity we may attain a sense of unity if given a appropriate platform for the coalescing of propositions. Perhaps we are not asking different questions after all?
While it was not our intention for the present edition to deal specifically with the topic Women and Psychology, three of the four articles consider issues in this area. This is perhaps fitting as, of late, there has been increasing interest in the deconstruction of psychological knowledge, and feminist scholars have been among those on the front lines of this movement.
The issue begins with one of Kate Slaney's own papers, Espcaping Eden: Tracing the Journey of Woman and Madness which addresses the conceptual connection between women and mental illness. The paper attempts to trace the relationship between these constructs in Western thought using a cultural psychological perspective. It is the author's belief that there is evidence that suggests that these constructs (and all others for that matter) can only be fully understood when analyzed through the cultural/historical context in which they have meaning. It is this same form of analysis that may reveal the conceptual relationship between what is mental illness and what is women.
In the second article: The Influence of Second Wave Feminism on Applied Psychology, Shona Cekelis examines some of the ways in which feminism has had an effect in clinical settings. She highlights the connection between sex roles and clinical conceptions of mental health, and the implications of the double standard of mental health that results. Finally, Cekelis provides a brief explication of some feminist alternatives to therapy, with a particular emphasis on Sandra Pyke's androgenous therapy.
Dagmar Pescitelli takes us from the applied to the theoretical realm in her paper Women's Identity Development: Out of the Inner Space and Into New Territory. She tackles the issue of female identity development as it can be understood through the theories of Eric Drikson and James Marcia. She summarizes the work of a munber of theorists who have demonstrated that the identity development of women has been less than adequately captured by the dominant theories in this area.
Finally, Michael Moir gives us a historical summary of the life and wok of Carl Jung. He contextualizes Jung's process of individuation by examining particular aspects of Jung's personal and professional life, ultimately providing a scaffolding through which one might embark on a more comprehensive examination of Jungian psychology.
As a final note, we apologize for the lateness of this edition--the passing of the baton proved to be less smooth than we had anticipated. But, alas, if you are reading this, we have successfully entered cyberspace with few major mishaps. We would also like to express our thanks to our readers and encourage submissions from anyone who would like to contribute.
May 31, 1998
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia.