Psychological Society of South Africa

How to help students succeed at university

By Rakhee Naik and Safiyyah Pahad After 21 years of democracy, people still question whether apartheid is a prominent reason impacting on the current state of education. Whether acknowledged or not, we must consider its impact on predominantly black students in accessing resources and educational opportunities. This is exacerbated by their limited social and cultural…

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Sex is complex: Gender, HIV and Charlie Sheen’s disclosure

By Pierre Brouard So Charlie Sheen is in trouble again — this time because he has been forced to disclose his HIV status to be one step ahead of the tabloids, and to cut off the money supply to extortionists who had him over a barrel. The competing narratives around his disclosure have been fascinating:…

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Are violent protests cleansing, like Fanon said?

By Liezille Jacobs and Julian Jacobs Frantz Fanon, often referred to as the psychiatrist who prescribed violence, would turn in his grave at the condemnation of the student protests because he believed overcoming oppression could be realised through a violent uprising of the masses. Fanon said the slave thinks of overthrowing his master while being…

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#BladeMustAid: An open letter to the minister of higher education

By Liezille Jacobs Dear Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel “Blade” Nzimande, What an interesting time to live in South Africa! I am writing this letter slowly because it is very hard for me to fathom that we might have another 1976 on our hands. Do you need a reminder, lest you forgot? On June 16 1976 student…

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Uncomfortable about current protests? Embrace your discomfort and be part of social change

By Ahmed Riaz Mohamed We live in a country and in a democracy forged through struggle, sacrifice and protest. The recent surge in student-led protest in the country is powerfully reminiscent of apartheid-era resistance and anti-apartheid marches, rallies and sit-ins. These students are channelling the spirit of former student leaders such as Steven Biko who…

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Normalising intimate partner violence among Soweto youth

By Matamela Makongoza, Mzikazi Nduna and Janan Dietrich One of the greatest challenges facing young people today is intimate partner violence. This is usually perpetrated by young men against their female partners. For instance, three out of 10 adolescent males in the Eastern Cape reported beating or raping their partners, and this type of intimate…

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Negotiating my identity as an introvert in an extroverted society

By Magnolia Bahle Ngcobo-Sithole When someone asks me “Who are you?” I often respond by giving my name and surname. If we keep the conversation going long enough I start talking about the work that I do. I may also mention some of my hobbies. The conversation stays superficial and safe. I never talk about…

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Are we programmed for prejudice?

By Melanie Judge In offering a response to the question, “are we programmed for prejudice” I wish to make the case for why thinking about prejudice is incomplete without thinking about it alongside power. I will address this in two ways: Firstly, by problematizing dominant representations of the victims and perpetrators of prejudice, and how…

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The Khumbul’ekhaya phenomenon as symbolic suicide

By Thirusha Naidu and Andiswa Mankayi One day Mrs Lolo left. It was not a special or a different day. Now it became the day that Mrs Lolo left, perhaps forever. If you met Mrs Lolo on the path to the taxi stop that day you would not have guessed that it would be 30…

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Transforming higher education: UCT students’ visions for the future

By Josie Cornell Vicky* had not thought much about her blackness, or what it meant. This changed rapidly upon her arrival at the University of Cape Town (UCT) as a first-year student where, for the first time, Vicky felt black. This “feeling of blackness” for Vicky and for other black students like her, particularly those…

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