South Africa: Nation On the Couch - the Things We Don't Want to Know


In a country saturated with social commentary, a new book offers an unusual perspective on our nation's apparent madness and its various expressions and suggests that we share a political unconscious that it's probably going to be hard for us to face up to.

South Africans share a political unconscious and until we stop to consider its destructive influence on our daily lives, we're likely to continue bumbling violently along on our shared path towards some murky and worrying destination.

Our collective anxiety is high, whether we're standing on the street corner hoping for piece work or taking our Rottweiler along on the leash when we go for a run.

Does psychology have anything to offer us to mediate this anxiety?

Wahbie Long, clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at the University of Cape Town, believes it does, as long as the discipline of psychology can make room for more than just individuals' responses to the material circumstances of our social context.

Long, who is considered one of South Africa's brightest academic minds and has received various honours, points out that sociology and social commentary ask and find answers for questions like why we...

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