The May issue of History of Psychology is now online. Articles in this issue address the (lack of) health psychology in post-apartheid South Africa , the concept of “active touch” before the work of James Gibson, the Lvov-Warsaw School of historical psychology, and the teaching of the history of psychology in Spain. Two further articles contribute to the digital history of psychology: John Benjamin offers a Zipfian analysis of the anglophone vocabulary of psychology, while Michael Pettit argues for caution in using the Google Books Ngram Viewer as a means of assessing cultural change over time. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“Psychology and health after apartheid: Or, Why there is no health psychology in South Africa,” by Jeffery Yen. The abstract reads,
As part of a growing literature on the histories of psychology in the Global South, this article outlines some historical developments in South African psychologists’ engagement with the problem of “health.” Alongside movements to formalize and professionalize a U.S.-style “health psychology” in the 1990s, there arose a parallel, eclectic, and more or less critical psychology that contested the meaning and determinants of health, transgressed disciplinary boundaries, and opposed the responsibilization of illness implicit in much health psychological theorizing and neoliberal discourse. This disciplinary bifurcation characterized South African work well into the postapartheid era, but ideological distinctions have receded in recent years under a new regime of knowledge production in thrall to the demands of the global market. The article outlines some of the historical-political roots of key trends in psychologists’ work on health in South Africa, examining the conditions that have impinged on its directions and priorities. It raises questions about the future trajectories of psychological research on health after 20 years of democracy, and argues that there currently is no “health psychology” in South Africa, and that the discipline is the better for it.
The February 2014 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the creation of college counseling centers in postwar America, a comparison of psychology’s vocabulary with that of other disciplines, and the establishment of Italian social psychology. Other historiographical pieces explore archival sources for Wundt scholarship, as well as the state of work on Soviet psychology. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“Great aspirations: The postwar American college counseling center,” by Tom McCarthy. The abstract reads,
In the decade after World War II, psychologists, eager to bring the benefits of counseling to larger numbers, convinced hundreds of American colleges and universities to establish counseling centers. Inspired by the educational-vocational counseling center founded by psychologists at the University of Minnesota in 1932, Carl R. Rogers’s “client-centered” methods of personal adjustment counseling, and the 400-plus college counseling centers created by the Veterans Administration to provide the educational-vocational counseling benefit promised to returning World War II servicemen under the 1944 GI Bill, these counseling psychologists created a new place to practice where important currents in psychology, higher education, and federal policy converged and where they attempted to integrate educational-vocational counseling with personal adjustment counseling based on techniques from psychotherapy. By the mid-1960s, half of America’s colleges and universities had established counseling centers, and more than 90% offered students educational, vocational, and psychological counseling services, a great achievement of the first generation of counseling psychologists.
The February 2013 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the history of German critical psychology, the development of South African psychology (by Wahbie Long, right), and the vocabulary of anglophone psychology. Other articles discuss attempts to develop a psychology of citizenship and the historicity of mind (as previously blogged about here). Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.
“Backlash against American psychology: An indigenous reconstruction of the history of German critical psychology,” by Thomas Teo. The abstract reads,
After suggesting that all psychologies contain indigenous qualities and discussing differences and commonalities between German and North American historiographies of psychology, an indigenous reconstruction of German critical psychology is applied. It is argued that German critical psychology can be understood as a backlash against American psychology, as a response to the Americanization of German psychology after WWII, on the background of the history of German psychology, the academic impact of the Cold War, and the trajectory of personal biographies and institutions. Using an intellectual?historical perspective, it is shown how and which indigenous dimensions played a role in the development of German critical psychology as well as the limitations to such an historical approach. Expanding from German critical psychology, the role of the critique of American psychology in various contexts around the globe is discussed in order to emphasize the relevance of indigenous historical research.
“Rethinking “relevance”: South African psychology in context,” by Wahbie Long. The abstract reads,