Introducing Decolonial Feminist Community Psychology

  • Floretta BoonzaierEmail author
  • Taryn van Niekerk
Part of the Community Psychology book series (COMPSY)


This volume is situated within the revitalised ‘decolonial turn’ in psychology, a turn which has been argued to recentre critical approaches such as feminist, critical, liberatory, indigenous, black and Marxist psychologies within the discipline (Seedat and Suffla, S Afr J Psychol 47(4):421–431, 2017). In South Africa in particular, the location from which a large part of the contributions to the book emerge, there has been longstanding recognition of the role of psychology in enabling and justifying institutionalised racism through apartheid (Nicholas and Cooper, Psychology & Apartheid. Vision Publications, Johannesburg, 1990). Given this history, as well as the contemporary ways in which knowledge production within psychology continues to pathologise those with long histories of suffering (Kessi and Boonzaier, S Afr J Psychol 48(3):299–309, 2018), there is little argument against the idea that psychology must indeed be decolonised. The lens of decoloniality is useful for recognition of the continuities in the decimation, destruction and dispossession wrought by colonialism and for challenging the ways it manifests in the present through knowledge production, representation, and everyday life. In this book, in addition, we make a case for feminist critique to be situated alongside the decolonial critique of psychology, community psychology in particular. In contemporary contexts, decolonisation discourses specifically centre racialised subjectivity, to a large degree ignoring the ways in which this is intersected with other forms of subjectivity and power, with gender being amongst the most important. The book aims to bring together the strands of critique in knowledge production and theories, emergent methodologies and critical and reflexive community psychology practice to argue for a decolonial feminist community psychology.


Community psychology Feminist psychology Decolonial psychology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hub for Decolonial Feminist Psychologies in Africa, Department of PsychologyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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