بازنمودهای علمی "نژاد" و نژادپرستی در روانشناسی : تولید دانش، بستر تاریخی و دیالکتیک در آفریقای جنوبی انتقالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5006||2003||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 27, Issue 2, March 2003, Pages 189–207
The paper critically reviews thematic patterns and trends pertaining to constructions of ‘race’ and racism within South African psychology's formal discourse between 1990 and 2000. It notes that clear differences emerge temporally with shifts in the socio-historical terrain of South African society, and it is the author's contention that these manifestations relate directly to ideological, political, social and economic conditions prevalent in South Africa and within the global context. Political transformation and its associated perceived threats to economic, social and cultural integrity; the impact of globalization and neo-liberal ideologies; and the contested institutional dynamics underpinning ‘race’ and racism in postapartheid South Africa are all explored as potential factors contributing to these academic discourses within South African psychology. The study is a thematic analysis of the South African Journal of Psychology during this period and highlights the shifting ontological, epistemological and methodological frameworks as they relate to the study of ‘race’ and racism. Furthermore, it provides us with the basis to examine how academia dialectically engages with ideological contestations pervading the social fabric and mirrors material and historical shifts in the political and socio-economic landscapes of South Africa. The paper argues for a revisiting of critical understandings of ‘race’ and racism within the framework of modernity, a re-commitment to historical and materialist deconstructions of ‘race’ and racism and cautions against the potential contradictions within postmodernist understandings of these social scientific phenomena. However, it simultaneously acknowledges the changing social and economic relations upon which modernist theorizing has been premised and suggests a theoretical re-calibration that allows for the interface between the benefits of critical theory and postmodernism in order to begin to reflexively understand manifestations of ‘race’ and racism in the new global context.
During the turbulent apartheid years in South Africa, the social sciences and humanities displayed complex relationships to the social, political and economic status quo. Whilst always being characterized by internal ideological debate, disciplines such as sociology (Alexander, 1985), economic history (Saul & Gelb, 1986) and political science (Wolpe, 1988) all attempted to provide credible analyses of the relationship between racism and economic exploitation, and therefore an understanding of the prevailing intergroup relations in South Africa. On the other hand, several disciplines that could broadly be characterized as helping professions (including medicine, its allied professions and psychology) were all much less vociferous in their critique of the social, political and economic crisis facing South Africa and its populace (Baldwin-Ragaven, de Gruchy, & London, 1999). This was partly due to the historical conservatism of these disciplines, but was also due to their professionalization, the resultant guild mentality, and the associated economic benefits of supporting an oppressive social system (Nell, 1993). Psychology as a historical case in point was not only unable, but unwilling to examine reflexively the manner in which it had contributed to the formation and maintenance of these particularly brutal intergroup relations. Moreover, psychology did not merely display a lack of commitment to critical reflexivity, but for the most part engaged directly in forms of knowledge production that invariably supported stereotypical notions of ‘race’1 and therefore, also oppressive social relations in South Africa. During the early 1900s the discipline had already adopted a firm ideological position in relation to both knowledge production and praxis in South Africa. Several authors have highlighted the complicitous relationship between psychology and a white, racist, political hegemony that had emerged in postcolonial South Africa (Duncan, van Niekerk, de la Rey, & Seedat, 2001; Nicholas, 1993; Nicholas & Cooper, 1990). This was to have a fundamental impact on the very structure of the discipline and profession as well as the content that drove research and praxis for years to come. At the peak of the crisis in the South African social formation during the 1960s and 1970s, social psychology was also engaged in its own internal crisis of social relevance (Foster & Louw-Potgieter, 1991). This period witnessed alternative social psychological attempts to explain intergroup relations and even to generate potential mechanisms and strategies for intergroup harmony. However, even these attempts were often reliant upon the work of international scholars such as Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mower, & Sears (1939), Clark & Clark (1939), Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswik, Levinson, & Sanford (1950), Sherif (1966), Gurr (1972), Pettigrew (1969) and Tajfel (1981), amongst others, and had limited application to South Africa because of their inability to provide explanatory linkages between the prevailing intergroup dynamics and racism as an ideology (Foster & Louw-Potgieter, 1991). In the last two decades, South African scholars of psychology have increasingly critiqued the conservative role that the discipline has played with regard to ‘race’ and racism and have also made significant contributions to newer and more relevant research efforts (Duncan, van Niekerk, de la Rey, & Seedat, 2001; Nicholas, 1993; Nicholas & Cooper, 1990; Seedat, Duncan, & Lazarus, 2001). Despite new contestations, the degree to which critical reflexivity has been internalized in a widespread manner in the discipline and profession is unclear. Furthermore, there appears to be a general malaise with regard to newer studies on ‘race’ and racism in South Africa at present. Even though ‘race’ has been central to South African history for the past 350 years and is certainly pivotal to social transformation, only approximately one quarter of the publications in the South African Journal of Psychology address ‘race’ directly or indirectly from 1990 to 2000. This is a relatively small proportion, given the importance of ‘race’ as a social scientific phenomenon in South Africa. This paper therefore explores publication themes and trends emerging from within the discipline of psychology in South Africa over the past 10 years (i.e. from 1990 to 2000), by examining the corpus of the only accredited psychological journal in South Africa, namely the South African Journal of Psychology. This is critical as the production of formal knowledge is in itself a contested ideological process and reflects similar contestations in society at large. More importantly, it plays a significant role in helping to shape commonsense discourses and practices related to racism (Cornforth, 1963; Thompson, 1984; Van Dijk, 1991). Whilst the study is a non-exhaustive thematic exploration, it does provide us with a snapshot of academic publications and the shifting ontological, epistemological, theoretical and methodological frameworks that characterize constructions of ‘race’ and racism during this period. Furthermore, it provides us with the basis for examining how academic constructions and representations (that are often elevated to the level of being completely reflexive) consciously or unwittingly mirror and engage with social processes within South Africa during this period.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Given the debates related to modernist and postmodernist understandings of ‘race’ and racism that currently express themselves in South African psychology and other disciplines internationally (see for example Rattansi & Westwood, 1994), we now turn our attention more specifically to these. The present section serves not only to examine contemporary debates in the field, but also to identify the different ontological and epistemological positions operating in a rapidly changing global context. Modernist and postmodernist approaches are often set up as binary opposites by the proponents of both frameworks (ironically), when in reality they may be construed as different components of the same frame. By conceiving of them as binary opposites, the dichotomy that this generates is essentially whether ‘race’ and racism should be viewed as an expression of class politics or identity politics (Eagleton, 1996). Many postmodern purists are suspicious of notions of truth, reason, single frameworks, grand narratives and of the idea of universal progress or emancipation. Rather, the world is construed as diverse, unstable, fragmented and consisting of diffuse and ephemeral sets of multiple identities. This is brought about by the changing nature of social, political and economic shifts in a world that can be characterized as ‘post-industrial’ due to the pervasive influence of finance capital, information technology, increased global mobility, etc. These factors are said to undermine the very nature of a class society and the premise upon which critical Marxist thought was based. It is an approach that is highly reflexive—in some ways described as a frame within a frame. It recognizes the fluidity and dynamic nature of human interaction, while avoiding totalities and generalities. It validates the varied and diverse experiences of humans and values them all equally. As for ‘race’ and racism, it rejects the idea of uniform institutional processes that all collude as cogs in the social machinery, giving rise to binary opposites of white and black, clever and stupid, rich and poor, oppressor and oppressed. Rather, it suggests multiple experiences and understandings of ‘race’ and racism, thereby allowing for a transcendence of modernist dichotomies/binaries and an encouragement of reflexive and creative exploration of the alternative, the ambiguous and the ambivalent (Eagleton, 1996; Rattansi & Westwood, 1994). On the other hand, those who subscribe to a purist modernist position would argue that a postmodernist approach is reflective of a disillusionment with critical Marxist theory, and that it serves to divert critical attention away from oppressive social systems and to re-direct it towards the level of the individual's perceptions, opinions, logic and mind (Cornforth, 1963). It acts as a mechanism for repentantly rationalizing away the radical nature of critiques among disillusioned critical thinkers. In so doing, postmodernism itself acts ideologically to conceal contradictions and to deny the need for a critical political project in the face of a system that is perceived to be impenetrable. Postmodernism, in some ways, turns inwardly on itself as it begins to function contradictorily as a grand narrative of its own (Eagleton, 1996). With regard to ‘race’ and racism, critical analyses located within modernism argue that the fundamental structural basis of capitalist social relations remains intact, in spite of global economic, political and social changes, and that racism pre-supposes a discourse of ‘race’ that serves to conceal the contradictions of capitalist social relations. What is pivotal to note here, is that in their dogmatic and purist forms, both these approaches are self-defeating and filled with contradictions. However, insofar as they both fundamentally support a critical analysis of modernity, they represent the potential to undo the binary and to re-calibrate our theoretical understandings of ‘race’ and racism. Whether one utilizes the Bauman (1991) understanding that “postmodernism is modernity coming to terms with its impossibility”, or the Giddens (1990) conceptualization of a “radicalization of modernity”, they both stress the necessity of emergent super-reflexivity, if we are to attempt to make sense of shifting phenomena such as ‘race’ and racism in a global context in which institutional configurations are constantly changing. While it is clear that uniform institutional processes and outcomes that are consistently and evenly applied with regard to racist oppression do not necessarily occur, consistent discriminatory outcomes associated with the allocation of resources may provide pointers to broader and more ‘generalized’ forms of racist discrimination and ideological practices. In this regard, Rattansi and Westwood (1994) argue that: racialised power relations (...) cannot be conceptualized as working and reproducing through a small number of tightly knit sites, such as those of state and capital, aided and abetted by a capitalist media supposedly interested only in dividing black and white workers, as set out in some influential Marxist works. Instead, racialised power relations may be seen more usefully in neo-Foucauldian terms which do not deny the importance of state and capital, but see these as far more fragmented and internally divided, together with a multiplication of sites for the operation of racisms—playgrounds, streets, classrooms, doctors’ surgeries, mental hospitals, offices, etc. (p. 62) For social scientists (and scholars of psychology in particular), this means the adoption of the “super-reflexivity” that is referred to above and a recognition of the importance of both the subjective, as well as the context, in understanding ‘race’ and racism. Rather than reifying either at the expense of the other, certain authors have articulated the necessity of bridging them. Thompson's (1990) hermeneutic approach provides a framework for considering the dialectical relationship between the subjective and the context. In addition, Althusser (1971) noted the relationship between ideology, material practice, and subjectification through interpellation, thereby recognizing the impact of base and superstructure on subjects, but also subjects’ agency to shape base and superstructure. Not only is an intersection between these positions desirable, but also theoretically possible. Understandings of ‘race’ and racism within the era of globalization can only be enhanced through more critical, historical, materialist and reflexive analyses pitched at multiple subjective and contextual levels. In so doing, social scientists are also more likely to critically evaluate the manner in which their constructions, expressed within formal knowledge production processes, reflect and shape subjective locations and socio-historical contexts with regard to ‘race’ and racism.