n South African Journal of Psychology - Cultural discourses in apartheid-era psychology, 1980-1994

Volume 45, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0081-2463
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Since the 1970s, "indigenous psychology" has blossomed into a global movement that seeks to tailor psychological knowledge and practices for use in other-than-western contexts. Prompted by the often apolitical presentation of indigenization imperatives in academic discourse, this article critically examines conceptualizations of "culture" in the and between 1980 and 1994. In a discourse analysis of 48 journal articles, three cultural discourses are identified. Discourse 1 conceptualizes "culture" on the basis of an essentialist ontology and advocates a position of cultural relativism and Discourse 2 draws on a social constructionist ontology that advances an anti-essentialist position, while Discourse 3 relies on a neo-primordial ontology that favors a pluralist position. By identifying the discursive functions of these formations in relation to the broader South African political context, this article reveals striking parallels between psychological and political cultural discourses.

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