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Ramphele, M. (2008). How does One Speak of Social Psychology in a Nation in Transition?. J. Anal. Psychol., 53(2):157-167.

(2008). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 53(2):157-167

How does One Speak of Social Psychology in a Nation in Transition?

Mamphela Ramphele, MBBS, Ph.D.

Although South Africa's transition into nationhood has been remarkable by all measures, persistent inequalities remain. These are directly traceable to the impact of the social engineering of apartheid which has left a legacy of poverty and a lack of education. In this talk, I focus on three key dilemmas for South Africans: identity as a nation of citizens with multiple identities, capacity for self-knowledge and self-acceptance and openness to new impulses. Acceptance of multiple identities is widespread but how deep is the acceptance of difference, especially when conflicts of opinion emerge? Finding a language of self-knowledge and acceptance requires a language that enables us to gain greater mastery of the complexities of living in a diverse society. How can psychology help with this task? In African cultures illness is described as a visitation from the ancestors: affected persons become wounded healers whose healing powers come from their acknowledged weakness. To what extent might you, as analytical psychologists, help find the ritual processes and language to be effective healers of your own nation?

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