Thursday, July 31, 2003

Brag post: Towards a Marxist community psychology

I have just read a review of Seedat, Duncan and Lazarus' book Community psychology. Theory, method and practice. This is what the reviewer (Kerry Frizelle) has to say about the chapter by Brandon Hamber, Thulani Masilela and Martin Terre Blanche:

"The most exciting chapter in this section, however, must be that of Hamber, Masilela and Terre Blanche (Towards a Marxist community psychology: radical tools for community psychological analysis and practice). It is exciting to see the resurrection of Marxist ideas despite the past and present "crisis" of Marxism. This chapter problematizes the theory and practice of psychology within a capitalist framework and encourages readers to "seek to understand the hidden mechanisms that produce individuality" (p. 54); primarily how social and economic realities construct individual and social relations, and subjectivities. The writers provide the reader with seven radical steps towards developing Marxist-oriented action within community psychology and encourage the reader to place an enlarged copy of these steps in a prominent position in one's university or workplace, in an attempt to actualise them. The issue of action is central to this entire volume and will undoubtedly be a welcomed text by those who are concerned with the passivity of conventional psychology to bring about substantial social change where and when it is most needed."

I remember when we wrote the chapter that we were determined to avoid producing yet another bland, obscure treatise on Marxism - but rather to convey something of its spirit in an exciting, polemical way that would at least make students take notice. It's nice that the reviewer responded positively to that. She also has many nice and useful things to say about the rest of the book of course.

The reference is Frizelle, K. (2002). Thinking critically about psychology in South Africa. Psychology in Society (PINS), number 28, p. 50-53. The book is Seedat, M., Duncan, N.,  Lazarus, S. (Eds.). Community psychology. Theory, method and practice. Cape Town: Oxford University Press. ISBN 019 571922 0

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

All bets are off on terror, rules Pentagon

The Pentagon, writes Julian Borger, has dropped its plan to allow speculators to make bets on future terrorist attacks in the hope that it would help military planners to predict future threats. The $8m scheme, which would have allowed punters to speculate on the likelihood of assassinations, coups and the full range of possible disasters in the Middle East, caused uproar in Congress, where Democratic senators dubbed it a "terrorism betting parlour"....more...

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Why only fools and children use portals

Once upon a time, when Tony Blair was popular, Barry Sheen was alive and jeans didn't come with those strange yellow fake dust stains on them, there lived three kings. These kings, called AOL, Lycos and Yahoo!, shared control of the kingdom of Internetia., more...

Friday, July 25, 2003

Historical and cultural variants on the good death

by Tony Walter, reader in sociology
Dominated by religion in the past and by medicine in the present: the idea of what constitutes a good death has changed in different cultures and societies throughout history, perhaps nowhere more so than in our globalised, Western cultures. After a period of individualisation, shared experiences with fellow sufferers now seem to be increasing in popularity, more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade

Every year, the major business magazines put out their annual surveys of big business in America. You have the Fortune 500, the Forbes 400, the Forbes Platinum 100, the International 800 -- among others. These lists rank big corporations by sales, assets, profits and market share. The point of these surveys is simple -- to identify and glorify the biggest and most profitable corporations.The point of the list contained in this report, The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade -- is to focus public attention on a wave of corporate criminality that has swamped prosecutors offices around the country.Find out about the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade.

Monday, July 7, 2003

Handbook on Reconciliation

The English and Spanish policy summaries of the International IDEA Reconciliation Handbook are now available electronically in pdf-format on the IDEA website.

Saturday, July 5, 2003

Friday, July 4, 2003

Are lessons transferable?

I have just added a new paper to my site entitled: Are lessons transferable? The importance of research for policy on transitional justice mechanisms. I presented this paper at the "Empirical Research Methodologies of Transitional Justice Mechanisms Conference", 18-20 November 2002, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Download paper.

Thursday, July 3, 2003

A Culture of Silence: Northern Ireland

I recently ran a range of seminars on peacebuilding for the Community Foundation in Northern Ireland, one of the guest speakers was the Deputy Editor of the Hindu (the largest English daily in India), Kalpana Sharma, she wrote a piece about her experience called "A culture of silence", an interesting read.

Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme

Here is a link to "Project Coast: Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme" by Chandré Gould and Peter Folb published in 2002. Outlines information on the Apartheid's Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme, free to download.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Recognition and Reckoning: The way ahead on victims issues

Democratic Dialogue Report 15
Brandon Hamber and Robin Wilson (Eds)

Now on online (pdf), a report from Democratic Dialogue, "Recognition and Reckoning: The Way Ahead on Victims Issues", based on a round table hosted by the think tank in Belfast last December. The report evaluates the "victims strategy", Reshape, Rebuild, Achieve, published in April 2002 by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland.