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Psychology in Society

On-line version ISSN 2309-8708
Print version ISSN 1015-6046

Psychol. Soc.  n.46 Durban Nov. 2014


Editorial: PINS @ 30



Grahame Hayes




During 2013 we made mention that PINS (Psychology in society) had been going for 30 years, and that we wanted to mark this achievement in some way. The intention was to acknowledge and celebrate this 30 year publishing history, and at the same time use it as an occasion for some critical reflection of the journal's past, present, and most importantly, its future. Through word-of-mouth amongst the editors we asked a range of people to write short critical and reflective pieces on PINS at 30. The interesting and thought-provoking collection assembled here is what we received from editors, colleagues, and other fellow travellers. Some others had intended to send us brief articles but time constraints and other work commitments conspired against them delivering on their "good intentions". At the risk of over-indulging our narcissistic and celebratory impulses, PINS is prepared to take further commentary on its 30 year publishing history, and especially in the form of responses to the contributions published in this issue - PINS 46, that is, PINS @ 30.

At one level it is unremarkable that an academic journal has been going for 30 years, and yet within the history of independent, and especially radical, journals, both locally and internationally, this longevity is unusual and the exception rather than the norm. The politics and economics of journal publishing are not the friends of independent and radical ideas, and hence the imperative for PINS (Psychology in society) to recognise and reflect on the persistence of this 30 year struggle to keep publishing the journal against the grain of intellectual and political complacency. Obviously it is hoped that there is more to PINS than the fact that it has "survived" for the last 30 years! Persistence, in and of itself, is hardly something to celebrate. What is more important, as many of the contributors to this special issue note, are the kinds of ideas that PINS has promoted and fought for under quite diverse historical and political circumstances. The point of reflecting on the past 30 years of PINS is not to wallow in the nostalgia for the "good old times", which the apartheid years most certainly weren't, but rather, in loosely paraphrasing Bertolt Brecht, to be prepared to engage the "bad new times".

The challenge of being prepared for what lies ahead, both intellectually and socially, means taking stock of our history, the past 30 years in PINS's case, and being bold and creative enough to imagine a different future. Some of this work has started with the contributions collected in this PINS @ 30 issue. The PINS editorial will in due course "analyse" all the contributions in this issue, and publish a "brief report" highlighting the omissions, suggestions for further issues, criticisms, and future direction of the journal that the various contributors came up with. This analysis will hopefully allow PINS to sharpen its focus, and if necessary re-direct its editorial stance. While there have been a few useful studies of psychology in South Africa since 1994, mostly content analyses of PINS and the South African Journal of Psychology, focusing on gender issues and critical psychology in the main, these have tended to be descriptive in approach rather than forcefully analytic and radical. PINS (Psychology in society) still awaits its social historian to deliver a structural and conjunctural analysis of its publishing history of the extant content, the omissions and lacunae, and the politics of its editorial commitments and policy. The articles collected in this PINS @ 30 issue are at least a beginning on the path of self-criticism and re-invigoration of PINS (Psychology in society). PINS would like to thank all the contributors for their effort and constructive criticism of the journal's history and ideas. And finally, PINS would like to thank itself for keeping on keeping on!!


New design and website

As part of trying to keep the journal interesting and fresh, PINS has a new design for its print version, starting with this issue - PINS 46 (2014). The website ( has also been re-designed, and is hopefully pleasing to the eye as well as inviting and easy to navigate around. Over time the website will have more content uploaded, and especially the back issues of PINS, going all the way back to Psychology in society 1 (September 1983). Maintaining and upgrading a website costs money, and thus we would like to encourage our readers, who massively outnumber our subscribers, to consider becoming regular (and persistent) subscribers of PINS, so as to help us keep financially afloat, as well as supporting the continued publication of the print version of the journal.

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License