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Psychology Otherwise: A Decolonial Africa(n)-centered Approach

From #RhodesMustFall to #BlackLivesMatter, an important component of anti-racist protest movements has been concerns about epistemic injustice. Typical accounts of epistemic injustice focus on epistemic exclusion (i.e., underrepresentation in knowledge production processes), intellectual imperialism (i.e., imposition of Eurocentric models without regard to cultural-historical context), and epistemological violence (i.e., tendencies of explanation that portray racialized Others in pathological terms). This project draws on African epistemic resources, informed by empirical research in Ghanaian settings, to consider another manifestation of epistemic violence that is particularly important in
psychology and related disciplines: the coloniality of modern individualist lifeways that disproportionately constitute the field. The view from African standpoints suggests that these modern individualist lifeways are not the just-natural expression of human nature, but instead may depend on levels of affluence sustained through colonial plunder. Although the self-expansive personal growth associated with these lifeways can promote optimal individual experience for a well-situated few, they may do so at the expense of a viable existence sustainable at the level of humanity in general. An Africa(n)-centered approach holds potential to illuminate sustainability-oriented models of (well)being as a more solid prescription for viable collective existence in our shared-planet reality of global interdependence.


Fellows involved in this project

South Africa

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Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].