The role of the psychologist in South African society : in search of an appropriate community psychology

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The purpose of the present study was to make suggestions for an appropriate community psychology practice in South Africa, and to explore the implications for the training of psychologists within this context. In order to develop these proposals an understanding of the South African social context and the location of psychology in that context was sought. In addition it was considered necessary to gain an overview of the community psychology approach in other contexts. Thereafter an exploration of the views of various people on an appropriate role for the psychologist in the broader socio-political arena in South Africa was conducted. These included key community psychologists in other contexts, psychologists in South Africa, psychology students, members of other social sciences, members of the public, and community organizers. An exploration of theoretical issues and relationships fundamental to a community psychology was then pursued, using a Critical perspective as a basis. Based on all of the above and direct experience of working and teaching within a community psychology framework in South Africa, suggestions for practice and training were offered.

Bibliography: leaves 237-252.