Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Psychology in Society]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=1015-604620100002&lang=en vol. num. 40 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>: <b>Facing the Apartheid Archive</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>The Apartheid Archive</b>: <b>memory, voice and narrative as liberatory praxis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This article explores the socio-political imperative and psychosocial value of re-engaging and expanding the apartheid archive in contemporary South Africa. It suggests that this archive's entanglement with de facto official histories of South Africa has resulted in certain elisions about the historical content of this archive, but also compromises our ability to examine the ongoing effects of our racialised past. It argues that the archive needs to be liberated from these socio-political constraints, expanded, re-appropriated and reclaimed, if we are to more fully apprehend and comprehend the impact of this history. Utilising the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP) as an exemplar, the article highlights the value of retrieving personal memories in countering the totalising effects of official histories, argues for the relationship between such memories and the articulation of voice for those marginalised groups and subalterns that have been excluded from official histories and the archive, and suggests that the narrative is a liminal mnemonic technique that allows for the expression of these memories as fragments and traces of the past that are re-constituted in the present, but also allows for a future imaginary. While recognising that memories articulated through narratives have limitations and are but one source of archival data, the article nevertheless argues that this is a critical political and psychological act in expanding the archive and has certain relationships to a liberatory praxis. In particular, it involves ongoing reflexive critique of this archive as a form of action and practice that transcends an event or moment, and is rather an evolving and dynamic process; allows for greater inclusivity; respects diversity; facilitates historical reclamation and democratisation; intersects with decolonisation methodologies and processes; and surfaces new modalities and interdisciplinary ways of knowing and understanding. The article concludes that all of these may allow for a range of alternative analyses, subject positions and social relations to emerge that may help to extricate us from the fixity and binaried nature of blackness and whiteness that continue to plague us in post-apartheid South Africa. <![CDATA[<b>Thinking about self-representation in the narrative-based Apartheid Archive Project</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The article explores the role that a number of self-presentation related issues might play in the construction of the Apartheid Archive Project (AAP). It argues that both the web-based portal method of data collection, as well as the nature of the material being assembled - that being autobiographical accounts of recollections of racism under apartheid - suggest the likelihood of a particular kind of participation or subjectification on the part of many potential contributors. In constructing such narratives it has been observed that authors may seek to manage the manner in which they represent themselves and significant others in order both to meet the objectives of the AAP (as they interpret these) and simultaneously to manage self-esteem and the manner in which they are likely to become objects of scrutiny by others. Four central themes are discussed in order to elaborate aspects of self-representation that may be implicated in the AAP, these being: The Confessional Imperative; The Knowing Subject; The Restricted Repertoire of Identificatory Positions; and The Implication of Significant Others. Each of these is discussed in turn, together with some illustrative examples from the existing archive material. It is proposed that while these kinds of narrative influences may be inescapable in the assemblage of data of this kind, that it is important for those engaged in analysing and interpreting the contents of this archive to appreciate the ethical, methodological and epistemological tensions posed by this hypothesized aspect of the archival material. <![CDATA[<b>Working with the Apartheid Archive</b>: <b>or, of witness and testimony</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Working with the apartheid archive demands a spectral scholarship - an engagement with the dead and the past, and the unknown of a future-to-be. This "hauntology" poses challenges unlike those of a traditional, evidentiary ontology and epistemology. Indeed, to the extent that it is an ethical metaphysics, as proposed by Emmanuel Levinas, that motivates all knowing, including that of the self and psyche, the manner of the researcher's response is in the order of witnessing and testimony. As particular mode of response, the witness who testifies sees his or her task less in terms of generating totalising thematic knowledge, than in tracing the limits of knowledge in the experience of the other. <![CDATA[<b>Paedophile as apartheid event</b>: <b>genealogical lessons for working with the Apartheid Archive</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The narratives that constitute the beginnings of an apartheid archive do well to illustrate the value of collecting, centralising and analysing everyday accounts of apartheid's subjects. Developing an archive of narratives that give voice to the quotidian experiences of apartheid is a valuable historical strategy. This approach may be usefully mobilised to offset some of the totalising effects of conventional history writing. Notwithstanding this value, an unreflective turn to narrative as a means to reading the socio-historical and political contours of apartheid, risks reducing critique to a symbolic exercise that centres subjectivity and subject positions as the key analytic targets. Such readings may shift the analysis away from the various levels of materiality and power of which these subject positions are both instruments and effects. In an attempt to demonstrate the way that Foucault's genealogical maxims may be used to counter the danger of centring the subject in history writing, we present some of the key analytic strategies undertaken in a previous study that produced an effective history of the South African paedophile. In so doing, we argue for a re-scoping of the apartheid archive project to include materials required for undertaking histories of the present. This extension would challenge many of the methodological and political constraints implied by limiting the archive to a corpus of memory narratives. <![CDATA[<b>Making white lives</b>: <b>neglected meanings of whiteness from apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, as in other parts of the world, where race was positioned as the fulcrum on which power balances, whiteness seems to have maintained its defining weight. Even after dramatic political changes, whiteness in South Africa seems to continue to determine privilege and desirability. In this article, which analyses material from two archival sources, we consider some of the meanings of, and processes that went into, whiteness as a dominant category of identity and white life as desirable standard. The narratives and cases selected for analysis are not representative of the universe of meaning vis-à-vis whiteness, but are taken to be instructive as to how we might go about looking at whiteness as critical readers and psychologists sensitive to historical, economic and socio-political contexts. In an effort to complicate notions of privilege, dominance and whiteness - and to do so by means of an archive, with sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic or the structural - the article focuses on the historical constitution and habitation of whiteness in South Africa to uncover and articulate some neglected meanings of whiteness, then and now. The stories of whiteness and white life under apartheid illustrate how these dynamics were fixed in place, insinuated into daily life, and defended against other forms of racial being. At the same time, the article shows how constructions of whiteness and being White were, and continue to be, driven by contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. From these stories we note the dynamics and tensions between essence and appearance. They reveal some of the thoughts and feelings that went into making and inhabiting a South African whiteness, and help us understand the complex and nuanced specificities of whiteness in this society. <![CDATA[<b>Confronting found memories of apartheid</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, as in other parts of the world, where race was positioned as the fulcrum on which power balances, whiteness seems to have maintained its defining weight. Even after dramatic political changes, whiteness in South Africa seems to continue to determine privilege and desirability. In this article, which analyses material from two archival sources, we consider some of the meanings of, and processes that went into, whiteness as a dominant category of identity and white life as desirable standard. The narratives and cases selected for analysis are not representative of the universe of meaning vis-à-vis whiteness, but are taken to be instructive as to how we might go about looking at whiteness as critical readers and psychologists sensitive to historical, economic and socio-political contexts. In an effort to complicate notions of privilege, dominance and whiteness - and to do so by means of an archive, with sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic or the structural - the article focuses on the historical constitution and habitation of whiteness in South Africa to uncover and articulate some neglected meanings of whiteness, then and now. The stories of whiteness and white life under apartheid illustrate how these dynamics were fixed in place, insinuated into daily life, and defended against other forms of racial being. At the same time, the article shows how constructions of whiteness and being White were, and continue to be, driven by contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. From these stories we note the dynamics and tensions between essence and appearance. They reveal some of the thoughts and feelings that went into making and inhabiting a South African whiteness, and help us understand the complex and nuanced specificities of whiteness in this society. <![CDATA[<b>War, trauma, and bringing them all home ...</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, as in other parts of the world, where race was positioned as the fulcrum on which power balances, whiteness seems to have maintained its defining weight. Even after dramatic political changes, whiteness in South Africa seems to continue to determine privilege and desirability. In this article, which analyses material from two archival sources, we consider some of the meanings of, and processes that went into, whiteness as a dominant category of identity and white life as desirable standard. The narratives and cases selected for analysis are not representative of the universe of meaning vis-à-vis whiteness, but are taken to be instructive as to how we might go about looking at whiteness as critical readers and psychologists sensitive to historical, economic and socio-political contexts. In an effort to complicate notions of privilege, dominance and whiteness - and to do so by means of an archive, with sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic or the structural - the article focuses on the historical constitution and habitation of whiteness in South Africa to uncover and articulate some neglected meanings of whiteness, then and now. The stories of whiteness and white life under apartheid illustrate how these dynamics were fixed in place, insinuated into daily life, and defended against other forms of racial being. At the same time, the article shows how constructions of whiteness and being White were, and continue to be, driven by contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. From these stories we note the dynamics and tensions between essence and appearance. They reveal some of the thoughts and feelings that went into making and inhabiting a South African whiteness, and help us understand the complex and nuanced specificities of whiteness in this society. <![CDATA[<b>The afterlife of voëlvry in post-apartheid South Africa</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, as in other parts of the world, where race was positioned as the fulcrum on which power balances, whiteness seems to have maintained its defining weight. Even after dramatic political changes, whiteness in South Africa seems to continue to determine privilege and desirability. In this article, which analyses material from two archival sources, we consider some of the meanings of, and processes that went into, whiteness as a dominant category of identity and white life as desirable standard. The narratives and cases selected for analysis are not representative of the universe of meaning vis-à-vis whiteness, but are taken to be instructive as to how we might go about looking at whiteness as critical readers and psychologists sensitive to historical, economic and socio-political contexts. In an effort to complicate notions of privilege, dominance and whiteness - and to do so by means of an archive, with sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic or the structural - the article focuses on the historical constitution and habitation of whiteness in South Africa to uncover and articulate some neglected meanings of whiteness, then and now. The stories of whiteness and white life under apartheid illustrate how these dynamics were fixed in place, insinuated into daily life, and defended against other forms of racial being. At the same time, the article shows how constructions of whiteness and being White were, and continue to be, driven by contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. From these stories we note the dynamics and tensions between essence and appearance. They reveal some of the thoughts and feelings that went into making and inhabiting a South African whiteness, and help us understand the complex and nuanced specificities of whiteness in this society. <![CDATA[<b>Critical psychology for South African transformation? </b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1015-60462010000200010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In South Africa, as in other parts of the world, where race was positioned as the fulcrum on which power balances, whiteness seems to have maintained its defining weight. Even after dramatic political changes, whiteness in South Africa seems to continue to determine privilege and desirability. In this article, which analyses material from two archival sources, we consider some of the meanings of, and processes that went into, whiteness as a dominant category of identity and white life as desirable standard. The narratives and cases selected for analysis are not representative of the universe of meaning vis-à-vis whiteness, but are taken to be instructive as to how we might go about looking at whiteness as critical readers and psychologists sensitive to historical, economic and socio-political contexts. In an effort to complicate notions of privilege, dominance and whiteness - and to do so by means of an archive, with sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic or the structural - the article focuses on the historical constitution and habitation of whiteness in South Africa to uncover and articulate some neglected meanings of whiteness, then and now. The stories of whiteness and white life under apartheid illustrate how these dynamics were fixed in place, insinuated into daily life, and defended against other forms of racial being. At the same time, the article shows how constructions of whiteness and being White were, and continue to be, driven by contradictions, ambiguities and paradoxes. From these stories we note the dynamics and tensions between essence and appearance. They reveal some of the thoughts and feelings that went into making and inhabiting a South African whiteness, and help us understand the complex and nuanced specificities of whiteness in this society.