The basic domains of qualitative social psychological research, namely social representations, social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, collective memory, the psychology of the environment are considered. Based on the fact that the range of problems of modern social psychology is largely determined by the so-called “social cognition paradigm” the author puts forward an idea about the psychology of social cognition, i.e. everyday consciousness, its functions, values, specific features of studying. The relation between theory and method in psychological research in the context of cognitive, linguistic and historical “turn” in the history of social psychology is discussed. The definition of qualitative research in the paradigm of social cognition is given.The theory of social representations by S. Moscovici is analysed. The cases of qualitative research carried out in the paradigm of this theory, as well as studies of social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, are reviewed. A theory of discourse is outlined and the author’s own method of discourse analysis is worked out. The author also dwells on the subject of innovation in social psychology. New directions of qualitative research development related to spatial and temporal aspects of social cognition are set, that is the way of “vital” environment and the collective (social) memory.
To sum up, the conducted theoretical and methodological analysis of the subject areas of qualitative research in psychology allows us to consider the relationship of subject and method. Thus, the definition of the subject of qualitative research is the starting point of the discussion of methodological problems.
The paper comprehensively describes the issue of the relationship between social cognition and social
A brief excursion into the history of social study in social psychology in this country and abroad is reviewed.
The methodology of the psychology of social cognition can be used both for explaining the individual
elements of the emerging problems, and for the understanding of the whole process. The essence of ideas
by Wundt, K. Levin, A. Teshfel, P.A. Sorokin, V.M. Bekhterev, L.S. Vygotsky and other related problems of
social psychology are presented. Current prospects of social cognition in the study of social problems are
outlined. The emergence of a new specific industry of social psychology, identified as the psychology of
social cognition, is mentioned. Its challenges and opportunities, the development of methods for the study
of social problems in today’s theory of social representations by S. Moscovici are presented.
Relevance of social study today is shown. The author notes that a strong need to address significant (global) problems in the society always arises in a period of radical change, social transformations, and from this point of view, the period of reform in Russia is a situation that cries out for the need to study the existing social problems.