Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Psychology in Society]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-604620150002&lang=en vol. num. 49 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Rethinking social cohesion and its relationship to exclusion</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>A critical review of practices of inclusion and exclusion in the psychology curriculum in higher education</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Much of South African psychology has pursued the national imperative of critical engagement and reconstruction since 1994, in spite of collusion with Apartheid ideologies before 1994. Critical psychologists who mobilised against apartheid were also active post-1994 in reshaping the discipline and profession. Many of these efforts were directed towards curriculum development to attempt to challenge the dominance of western and northern scholarship in psychology by developing multiple texts that represented local experiences and challenged traditional asocial and ahistorical thinking in psychology. This paper presents critical thoughts on contemporary psychology in higher education, with a particular focus on progress made in curriculum transformation and demographic representativity, to interrogate the extent to which the profession continues to reproduce existing patterns of privilege and inclusion/exclusion. We suggest that considering curriculum as discourse which acts to reproduce larger power relations in society, may be a useful approach to think about inclusion and transformation of the curriculum in psychology. <![CDATA[<b>"Burn the witch": The impact of the fear of witchcraft on social cohesion in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper explores beliefs about witchcraft in a sample of community members in South Africa with the aim of showing that the fear of bewitchment dislocates important linkages and networks between people. This is most evident in relation to the violent consequences associated with witchcraft, particularly affecting those who are accused. Interviews with community members in South Africa provide us with a context to understand the emotional response discourses that witchcraft opens. This allows comments on how witchcraft beliefs are fused with fear, which mobilises community members towards behaviour against those accused. As a consequence, violent behaviour becomes an acceptable outlet in coping with witchcraft accusations. It is argued that increased distrust amongst community members related to witchcraft leads to tension and interpersonal conflict, therefore breaking down networks essential to ensuring harmony. <![CDATA[<b>The singularity of the post-apartheid black condition</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informed by Césaire's awareness on the singularity of the black situation as well as Biko's sense of the consequence of black-conscious solidarity for overcoming white racism, I present some notes concerning social cohesion. I counsel against social cohesion without socio-economic justice. I would like us to consider how we might radically rework what I see as the sentiment urging the discourse of social cohesion into socially-just solidarity in relation to the peculiarity of the black condition. I argue that even if social cohesion is considered a preeminentsocial ideal, it remains an empty signifier if not preceded by policies and programmes to overcome persisting socio-economic inequalities, especially because of the history and contemporary facts of colonial, apartheid and neo-apartheid injustices. I contend that projects intended to foster cohesion might do best if they are prefigured by a radical politics of socio-economic justice. In turn, a politics of social justice needs grounding in an understanding of our unique situatedness as a historically and currently unjust society. <![CDATA[<b>Reflections on social cohesion in contemporary South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Informed by Césaire's awareness on the singularity of the black situation as well as Biko's sense of the consequence of black-conscious solidarity for overcoming white racism, I present some notes concerning social cohesion. I counsel against social cohesion without socio-economic justice. I would like us to consider how we might radically rework what I see as the sentiment urging the discourse of social cohesion into socially-just solidarity in relation to the peculiarity of the black condition. I argue that even if social cohesion is considered a preeminentsocial ideal, it remains an empty signifier if not preceded by policies and programmes to overcome persisting socio-economic inequalities, especially because of the history and contemporary facts of colonial, apartheid and neo-apartheid injustices. I contend that projects intended to foster cohesion might do best if they are prefigured by a radical politics of socio-economic justice. In turn, a politics of social justice needs grounding in an understanding of our unique situatedness as a historically and currently unjust society. <![CDATA[<b>Gender, social cohesion and everyday struggles in South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Since the advent of democracy in South Africa, far-reaching changes have taken place in many areas of society. While many positive changes have taken place in the new dispensation; however, the promise of democracy has not been fully met. The hope for collectivity and trust in the government system seems to be an ideal to which many are still striving. Using gender as a unit of analysis, this paper interrogates the complexities of democracy and the ideation of social cohesion in a country that contends with perpetual everyday struggles. I will also draw briefly from a research project that I conducted to highlight how women make meaning of their newly found 'freedom' and the ways in which they wrestle with perpetual challenges that so many of them continue to face. <![CDATA[<b>Crime, fear and continuous traumatic stress in South Africa: What place social cohesion?</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en International literature on crime and violence suggests that social cohesion may play a key role in facilitating prevention at community level. It is argued that in South Africa high levels of crime entailing interpersonal violation not only reflect ruptures in the social fabric but also contribute to social disorganization. In exploring the traumatic impact of exposure to fairly pervasive criminality via the constructs of Fear of Crime (FoC) and Continuous Traumatic Stress the article explores some of the linkages between responses to crime and the facilitation or erosion of potentialities for social cohesion. It is argued that the common responses of fearfulness, suspicion and social withdrawal (as well as defensive aggression in some instances) are counter-productive to attempts to build pro-social organization. Consequently a rather intractable circular relationship may ensue in which the conditions that enable criminality are not challenged because indirect and direct exposure to violation, alongside perceived and actual deficits in formal state interventions, have eroded the motivation and capacity of citizens to tackle such conditions, leaving spaces open for violation to continue unchecked, Some of the complexities of thinking about forms of social cohesion as a route to challenge crime and its impact in South Africa are elaborated. It is emphasized that collective efficacy appears to be the aspect of social cohesion that is most pivotal in addressing this feature of society. <![CDATA[<b>An exploratory critique of the notion of social cohesion in contemporary South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462015000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article seeks to situate the increasing salience of social cohesion in the context of the transition from apartheid to a post-apartheid society. It first part of the article focusses on the changing political and economic landscape post 1990. It pays particular attention to the role of Nelson Mandela as a symbol of national unity. While the fact that the African National Congress (ANC) government's economic policies under his leadership failed to have a fundamental impact on levels of poverty and inequality, Mandela's stature and ability to reach out to different constituencies created the conditions for him to be seen as a great unifier. His successors Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma have also not had much success at the level of alleviating high levels of poverty and inequality while also not enjoying the same iconic status of Mandela. Starting in the Mbeki era but gaining momentum under the Zuma Presidency, the country has witnessed rising levels of community and labour unrest. In this context, the article argues that notions like social cohesion and ubuntu have assumed increasing importance as ways to stitch together a fracturing society. The latter part of the article argues that, with high levels of poverty and inequality, commodification of basic services and mounting social protests, it is difficult to deploy ideas like social cohesion, especially when new militant political subjectivities are challenging the hegemony of the ANC.