On-line version ISSN 2309-8708
Psychol. Soc. n.42 Durban Jan. 2011
University of KwaZulu-Natal Durban. firstname.lastname@example.org
PINS (Psychology in society) does not often write editorials these days, and only does so when there is a special issue and the guest editors want to introduce the special edition, or when the editors want to communicate something to the subscribers and readers. For this issue, the first thing we want to communicate is an apology for the lateness of the issue, still dated 2011! PINS is committed to producing at least two issues per year, and hence the need to date this late issue, PINS 42, 2011. We shall attempt to be more timely in future. The main reason for our somewhat irregular production schedule has to do with our independence, which has the effect of leaving us with no infrastructural support to ensure a highly efficient and regular production timetable. We are working on solving this problem and thus ensuring a more regular operation.
One way of improving our resources for the production of the journal is to grow our individual subscriber base. Many more people read PINS than we have subscribers, and this is especially so given that we now have a website. PINS is keen to increase access to the journal and at the same time create a broader subscriber base to allow the journal to continue to produce a print version. It is to this end that we would like to encourage subscribers to renew their subscriptions regularly, and to encourage other people who may be interested in reading and supporting the journal become subscribers. We would like PINS also to be a "loose association" of people interested in a critical and socially engaged psychology. Our subscription form now carries a space for subscribers to give us their email addresses. What we envisage for PINS subscribers - this "loose association" of critical thinkers in, and about, psychology - is irregular email postings of interest. This would include the contents page of the latest issue of PINS as it is posted out; a list of available book titles for review; notices of conferences; and so on. We are aware that people get enough unwanted emails these days, and would not want to contribute to this with these suggested postings that will be kept to a discrete minimum.
Mentorship. We have mentioned previously that we are keen to encourage new authors starting out with their writing careers. Prospective authors can approach us with either an idea about a submission, or a draft of an intended submission, or a proper submission indicating that they are new at this. PINS would still send out the article for anonymous review, but would indicate to the reviewers that the author is just beginning their publication career, and hence to be more detailed in their constructive feedback to help the author get the article to publication level. The PINS editorial would also add further detailed commentary to the reviewers' reports to assist new authors.
Biographies. With very few exceptions South African psychology has been rather silent about its own history. Some of that history is quite embarrassing given its complicity with apartheid, and yet we should not shy away from presenting the past of the discipline. To this end PINS is keen to publish biographical essays of people who have made a contribution to the discipline (in the past). For instance, in the pipeline are two essays, one on the "psychoanalyst" Wulf Sachs who died in 1949, and one on the neglected figure of Chabani Manganyi. Other names that randomly spring to mind are I D MacCrone, Professor Pratt-Yule (surely one of the first women professors and heads in South African psychology), the big name émigrés like Joseph Wolpe, and Jospeh Sandler. Many psychologists in South Africa were (are) influenced by the ideas of Black consciousness, and hence a biographical type essay on the influence of Stephen Biko's ideas on / in psychology would be interesting and revealing. In short, we are looking for prospective authors to contribute to this "biography series".
The final communication of this editorial is about book reviews. PINS has always put store by reviewing a range of books in each issue, usually about five. The primary concentration has been with locally published texts. This issue has a "bumper crop" of 10 interesting book reviews, of both local and international texts. Book reviewing is a form of writing that is sometimes underrated, and yet writing reviews that are both critically engaging and inviting is quite challenging. Besides continuing with our usual reviews of contemporary texts, we would like to re-visit, and review anew some "older, classic" texts. The main reason for doing this is to introduce younger scholars and students to some forgotten classic texts, while making a case for their continued relevance and influence. Again, at random, a selection of books could include Russell Jacoby's (1975) Social amnesia: A critique of conformist psychology from Adler to Laing; Paulin Hountondji's (1983 / 1976 - French) African philosophy: Myth and reality; Chabani Manganyi's (1973), sadly out of print Being-black-in-the-world; Karl Jaspers' (1997 / 1959 - German) General psychopathology; and obviously many more.
If any of the above suggestions about brief (historical) biographies, and the re-visiting of earlier influential texts, are of interest to some of our readers who would like to contribute one way or another, they should contact the PINS editor at: email@example.com