African Psychology Vs Western Psychology

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Peter Boshoff 1855842 22/02/18 “Western Psychology and African Psychology have emerged as alternative philosophical engagements with ideas about the self and perspectives on human behaviour. By focusing on Western and African schools of thought, describe the fundamental tenets of these approaches in detail.” Western Psychology and African Psychology have evolved into two erudite and contrasting schools of thought, which present unique conceptualisations of the self and of human behaviour. Despite the apparent global hegemony of Western Psychology, it is crucial to also consider the development and trajectory of indigenous knowledge systems, as such largely unfamiliar systems may prove invaluable in contributing to globally-applicable…show more content…
In terms of time orientation, Western Psychology apportions great focus to the future and the fulfilment of goals, and concentrates on time as a linear concept (Hall 1983, as cited in Mkhize, 2006). In contrast, African psychology emphasises both the past and the present, stressing the need to live peacefully with one’s ancestors, community and family, but to also derive knowledge from past traditions. However, perhaps it is necessary for both schools of thought to distribute their focus over the past, present and future – Western Psychology should possibly look to the past to understand injustices it has produced, as in the case of scientific racism, while African Psychology should apportion attention to a future free from any form of resentment (Seedat & MacKenzie,…show more content…
Indeed, Western psychology seeks to establish dominion over the environment, directing nature to suit humanity’s needs. African Psychology, however, accepts nature as a largely uncontrollable and spiritual entity that coexists with humankind and offers spiritual guidance (Myers 1988, as cited in Mkhize 2006). Indeed, the ’oneness’ with nature advocated through African Psychology is not reflected in Western Psychology, which instead proposes that humanity is bestowed with the power advantageously manipulate their

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