n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - An exploration of a traditional African paradigm in a postmodern world with specific reference to criminology

Special Edition 2
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Circularity can be applied in the analysis of African philosophy and should be kept in mind when African theories of crime are explored. Too often existing theoretical assumptions have blind spots and attempts are made to explain causality of crime from a linear perspective. Rather, a two-dimensional approach to causal explanation in African thought should be considered. The African epistemology is explored, including the nature and origin of our knowledge of African theory and philosophy. Throughout history, the fabric of African society has been influenced, changing both the pattern and search for knowledge to distinguish between African and Western philosophy and the affect on theory. The basis of African theories or paradigms should thus be established by examining and extrapolating upon existing theories derived from the fields of philosophy and psychology in South Africa. This article has investigated these very principles that underpin the development of an African theory (perspective, paradigm) to crime in South Africa. The theory or approach to crime and criminal behaviour explored and illustrated within this article is in no way proposed to be complete or the only way to explain this encompassing phenomenon of crime as it takes place in South Africa, but rather strives to generate critical discourse in the field of criminology and related social sciences.

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