Applying Community Psychologies to African Realities or Centring African Psychologies in Working with Local Communities Convener

Kopano Ratele
Institute for Social and Health Sciences, University of South Africa and South African Medical Research Council- University of South Africa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit

How is Africa defined, studied, and experienced within Community Psychologies and how are local communities mapped, theorised and engaged in African Psychologies? Are Community Psychologies as understood and advanced in South Africa – where the idea of trans-racial, non-poor, or white community remains under question, given that community is conflated with ethnicity, race and class – African Psychologies, and if not, should it matter? Are African Psychologies in actual fact attempts to domesticate versions of Liberatory, Social, Black, Cultural, Critical or Community Psychologies? Fuelled by these and similar questions, this symposium will offer a range of views on how the ideas and facts of Africa and community are apprehended and relayed in the sub-disciplines and orientations within Community Psychology and African Psychology.

The goal is to learn from the speakers’ own empirical studies and theoretical work as a contribution towards deciding between teaching, researching and designing interventions from within Community Psychology in African settings, and developing African-centred psychological interventions with and for local communities. At the same time, the speakers will present something of their own quests for an emancipatory praxis against the legacy of imperial, colonial and apartheid knowledge and power. The symposium thus is intended as embodiment of mutual and critical support and inspiration for one another’s search for a decolonised psychology in our communities, classes, practices, studies, and everyday lives.

Kopano Ratele is Professor at the University of South Africa. His research, teaching, social-political activism, and community mobilisation focuses on masculinity as it intersects with traditions, violence, class, sexuality, and race. He is a member of a number of international and local boards and committees, including NORMA: the International Journal for Masculinity Studies, Feminism and Psychology, associate editor of Psychology in Society, the international reference group of GEXcel: the International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, and African Safety Promotion: A Journal of A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention. Chairperson of the board of Sonke Gender Justice and past president of the Psychological Society of South Africa, Ratele is a regular contributor to television, radio and newspapers. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journals articles and book chapters, 5 edited books, and the critically acclaimed There was this goat (with Antjie Krog and Nosisi Mpolweni).

Symposium Contributors

kopanorKopano Ratele
Why Community Psychology Rather than African-centred Psychology – And What Such Choices Raise about Liberation From Coloniality



hugoHugo Canham
Theorising Community Rage for Action



Boshadi Semenya
(Re)searching Fragments of an African Ethic and Contending with Social Justice in a Batswana Female Initiation Project



aneleAnele Siswana
New Directions for a Truly Community Psychology: Ulwaluko as a Form of Communal and Individual Therapy with Men



peacePeace Kiguwa
Depoliticising African Feminist Psychology: Rescuing Intersectional Politics and Notions of ‘Voice’ from Academic Feminism

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