South Africa

Johann Louw

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Psychology: Global Perspectives

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195366556
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

South Africa

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  • History and Systems in Psychology



South African psychology shows many similarities with the way the discipline developed internationally. Six features are identified and used to describe the historical development of the discipline in this country: its responsiveness to local contexts, in particular the links developed between psychological expertise and social problems; how the politics of race weaves in and out of psychological writings and practices; a shift to greater practicality in the fields of education, health, and labor; growth as a subject taught at university and as a professional practice; professionalization; and the significant increase in the number and proportion of women among the ranks of psychologists, especially after 1980. Developments during World War II and the statutory recognition of the discipline are regarded as pivotal events for its subsequent expansion.

Keywords: apartheid; education; feminization; labor; mental health; professionalization; race; social context

Article.  11732 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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