oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - A healer may yet emerge from behind the mask: revisiting the tarnished image of psychology in Africa (a South African perspective)

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1433-0237



Psychology in Africa has been criticised for its irrelevance and Eurocentrism. This criticism has shown how a modernist view of the person as a self-contained individual is deeply embedded in psychology. Such a view contrasts with folk-psychological African concepts of the person as coextensive with community and spirituality. Many fruitful suggestions have been put forward to rectify the limitations of psychology in Africa. However, only a few of the criticisms of psychology and the suggestions for transformation of psychology take cognisance of post-modem thought. The aim of this paper is to revisit the tarnished image of psychology in Africa from certain postmodem perspectives. It is proposed that both the criticisms of the ills of psychology in African contexts as well as the medicine prescribed may benefit from a loosening of the constraints of modernist thought.

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