Ethics and South African Psychology

Saths Cooper

in The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739165
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Ethics and South African Psychology

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  • History and Systems in Psychology



The checkered history of South African psychology and its ethical implications underpin this chapter, from its early organizational origins in 1948, which coincided with the legalization of apartheid, to its present-day postdemocratic liberated form. The burgeoning development of psychology as a profession in the southern African region has resulted in the quest to create ethics frameworks in those countries where psychology has legal recognition, using international benchmarking. The close nexus between these countries’ ethical bases is alluded to, and, while providing examples of some of the national ethical dilemmas confronted within the psychology profession during apartheid, the chapter indicates the shortcomings that have to be constantly addressed in a fast-transforming country like South Africa, which has constitutional imperatives that mandate its parliament to bring all statutes in line with its liberal human rights culture.

Keywords: apartheid psychology; professional transformation; political dilemmas

Article.  6292 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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