Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Status Quo Maintenance

  • Helen Lee
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_629


The argument that psychology maintains the status quo comes from critical psychology and is important for critical psychologists who are concerned with addressing social inequalities. A key paper by Prilleltensky (1989) maps out this concern by drawing attention to, and calling for an inquiry into, psychology’s ideological functions. However, status quo maintenance is not debated in traditional psychology, in part, because historically, mainstream psychology has adopted an apolitical stance.


Status quo maintenance refers to the ways in which psychological knowledge supports the status quo, that is, the existing state of affairs or dominant ideology.


Ideology; individualism; individual-society dualism; inequality

Traditional Debates

Traditionally, psychologists have not addressed the relationship between psychology and the status quo because they claim to adopt an apolitical stance. This stance stems from an epistemology that does not explicitly...

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Online Resources

  1. Dennis Fox provides an overview and links to book chapters and papers including work with Isaac Prilleltensky at. http://www.dennisfox.net/papers/introducing.html

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, PsychologyStaffordshire UniversityStoke-on-TrentUK