On-line version ISSN 2309-8708
Psychol. Soc. n.45 Durban Jan. 2013
Editorial: 30 years
University of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban. firstname.lastname@example.org
PINS (Psychology in society) appeared 30 years ago now, its first issue being dated September 1983. At one level this is quite unremarkable, and yet in the world of independent journals, both locally and internationally, it is something to acknowledge, maybe even celebrate. Many very fine journals, again both locally and internationally, have sadly ceased production, or only appear annually, or only in electronic form. As a way of ensuring continued and regular production a number of independent journals have entered into partnerships with publishing houses. Obviously one of the main advantages of being independent is the complete control over editorial and publishing policy, and being responsible to one's intellectual peers on the editorial board. The main disadvantage is the relative lack of resources to produce the journal. Most independent journals rely on the "free labour" of editors to produce the journal, and given that the editors have busy jobs the time taken to work on the journal is often "stolen" from other work-related activities.
PINS (Psychology in society) wants to acknowledge and celebrate its 30 year existence by inviting (brief) critical commentaries on what we have published, what we should have published more of, and what we failed to publish. These critiques could concentrate on the content of our publishing record, and / or the slight changes in our editorial over the years. For instance, we opened issue one with the following editorial masthead: "Psychology in society is a journal which aims to critically explore and present ideas on the nature of psychology in capitalist society. There is a special emphasis on the theory and practice of psychology in the South African context". While the critique of apartheid was implied in the notion of "capitalist society", we only added the explicit reference to apartheid with PINS 5 in 1986, at the height of the anti-apartheid resistance to Nationalist Party rule. There was further tinkering with our editorial statement in PINS 18 (1994), and PINS 20 (1995), modifying "apartheid" to read "post-apartheid", and changing "South" Africa to "southern" Africa. The "bigger" editorial change came in 1996 with PINS 21's editorial reading: "Psychology in society (PINS) aims to foster a socio-historical and critical theory perspective, by focusing on the theory and practice of psychology in the southern African context." Noticeably, gone were "post-apartheid", and "capitalist" society, and a more explicit aligning with critical theory and critical psychology!
In a temporal sense our society is clearly post-apartheid, but is this as true structurally and socio-historically? Maybe as a journal that sets itself up as critical of the theory and practice of psychology in contemporary South Africa we should re-visit how we articulate our post-apartheid critique. There is more to a post-apartheid critique than a focus on the racial dynamics of our society as a range of other aspects of inequality and exploitation continue to define the everyday reality for millions of people. It would seem that a major omission has been PINS's lack of focus on the capitalist nature of post-apartheid South Africa, and consequently the devastating effects that current capitalist social relations have for ordinary people. This is not necessarily a call to turn PINS into an anti-capitalist journal, but at least a call for more class-based analyses of the issues that affect us on a daily basis, whether we are unemployed, members of the working class, or practitioners of psychology.
In short, this editorial is an invitation for our readers to engage with the journal's 30 year history in a critical and constructive manner, by sending us short articles by the end of February 2014. These short articles will be published in the first issue of 2014 - PINS 46. Hopefully these critical articles will encourage an open discussion of the journal's past, and its possible future direction. Contributions should be sent to the PINS editor at: email@example.com.
Mentorship. Finally, we would like to remind readers of the editorial commitment to the mentoring of new authors. 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 writing for publication. 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 requested 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. Interest or queries regarding our mentorship practice should be sent to the PINS editor: firstname.lastname@example.org.