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The OppAttune project were delighted to guest edit and contribute to May’s special edition of The Psychologist magazine, Being Political in Divisive Times. The project’s own Professor Kesi Mahendran and Dr Sandra Obradović, alongside Sue Nieland (Open University) and Dr Ashley Weinberg (University of Salford) took on the role of guest editors for the issue. This special edition of The Psychologist includes articles from 12 authors and 6 partners within the OppAttune project.

The Open University’s Dr Sandra Obradović and Dr Anthony English offer readers the opportunity to reflect on their own role in enabling politically polarising discourse and offer suggestions for change. Professor Gordon Sammut (University of Malta) offers psychological insights into how and why we vote. Malmö University’s Professor Tina Askanius and Doctoral student Jullietta Stoencheva  explore how social media facilitates extreme narratives moving into mainstream discourse. Professor Kesi Mahendran contributes to a piece highlighting how the ‘silent generation’ defy the stereotype that older citizens all supported Brexit. Kesi also meets Ali Goldsworthy and Laura Osborne, authors of Poles Apart: Why People Turn Against Each Other, and How to Bring Them Together, to discuss their insightful book. The Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Dr Ursula Reeger and Dr Miriam Haselbacher discuss how to navigate political polarisation in urban spaces. Two of the project’s Doctoral students, Tetiana Shyriaiev and Evangelia Vergouli (both Open University) interview Professor Stephen Swayer (The American University of Paris) to discuss the role psychology has to play in forging a society of equals. Finally, Dr Harold Weilnböck (Cultures Interactive) discusses the value of narrative group work to encourage a space in which people can both successfully speak and listen to one another.

If you’re interested in reading the edition, please follow the link.

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