Assistant Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Copenhagen
Dr. Séamus A. Power is a trans-disciplinary scholar with expertise in social, cultural, and political psychology.
He did his postdoc and Ph.D. in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago, an M.Phil. at the University of Cambridge, and a B.Sc. at University College Cork.
In one line of research he uses multiple methods to comprehend how people experience and understand economic inequality from a psychological perspective: under what conditions can and do people living in democracies accept inequality without engaging in activities to effect social change? And under what circumstances does their tolerance turn to protest, rioting, and other forms of civic discontent?
In a second line of research, in conjunction with the cultural anthropologist Professor Richard Shweder, he examines the scopes and limits of pluralism and the multicultural challenge in western liberal democracies. How much tolerance is there, and how much tolerance do people think there should be, for diverse cultural practices such as body modifications, parental authority, arranged marriages, ways of dressing, and family structures, in liberal democracies, such as the United States and Denmark?
Dr. Power's third research area unites the previous two strands. He is interested in the Equality - Difference Paradox. This is the observation that countries with greater income equality tend to be less culturally diverse. One consequence of this apparent clash between cultural diversity and income equality is that any country that values both economic equality and cultural diversity must sooner or later confront the paradox, if only for the sake of finding a sensible tradeoff that is compatible with social harmony.
In a fourth line of research, with colleagues in psychology and sociology, he is examining the everyday experiences of people during the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent reopening of Danish society using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Dr. Power has written about the complementarity and incongruences between ethnographic and experimental methods. With colleagues he has innovated the SAGE and MOVE models of social psychological research. These frameworks highlight the utility of using ecologically valid mixed methods to describe and examine unfolding social and political phenomena.
Dr. Power is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen.
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Email: seamus.power (at) psy.ku.dk