Kopano Ratele

Kopano Ratele
Stellenbosch University | SUN · Department of Psychology

About

136
Publications
87,095
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2,493
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2021 - July 2021
Stellenbosch University
Position
  • Professor
April 2007 - present
University of South Africa
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (136)
Article
This is the first ever research in Bangladesh that provides understanding about men's postsuicide attempt reflections from a district called Jhenaidah which is assumed to be a high suicide-prone area in the country. Employing qualitative semistructured interviews with 17 men who have attempted suicide, aged 18 years and older, this research finds t...
Article
Seeing masculinity is, according to Raewyn Connell, ‘a place in gender relations’, what is the place accorded to males once considered property in men and masculinities studies, how are the practices of these ‘former properties’ fathomable as men’s, and what masculinities emanate from the place these ‘non-beings’ occupy? This article, which emerges...
Article
Full-text available
In a previous article we sought to clear up some of the conceptual confusion on African psychology whilst simultaneously engaging with what it entails to do a decolonising African psychology. We dealt with questions such as: Is African psychology identical to psychology in Africa? What is the main dispute between Africa(n)-centred psychology and Eu...
Article
Suicide is a serious but under-researched public health problem in Bangladesh. In light of this, we sought to explore the association between masculinities and suicide. We interviewed 20 family members/friends of men who died by suicide across 12 rural areas of the Jhenaidah district, Bangladesh. We found that male suicide was attributed to men's i...
Article
Émile Durkheim’s Le Suicide (1897/2005) paved the way for the development of the sociology of suicide. However, Durkheim’s positivistic approach in studying suicide was trenchantly challenged by, amongst others, Jack Douglas, who, in Social Meanings of Suicide (1968), advocated extricating the social meanings of suicide from the interpretive tradit...
Article
This article provides a conceptual introduction to the second installment of a two‐issue collection of work on decolonial approaches to the psychological study of social issues. Whereas papers in the first installment consider decoloniality as a social issue for psychological study, papers in this second installment consider psychology as a site fo...
Article
The higher education system globally is inherently inequitable. Discriminatory practices and oppressive power dynamics are particularly prevalent in the South African higher education landscape, which is characterized by a legacy of colonialism and apartheid. As a result, although students from a wide range of backgrounds are increasingly participa...
Book
The current emphasis in research and education on women and girls is fraught with problems. It has raised a concern that boys and men should be included in research and intervention work on gender equality and transformation. As a result, academics with a background of many years of work in women’s and gender studies undertook a research project fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Several factors have been shown to shape the ways in which men parent/engage with their children and families. Socio-economic status, culture, history, political background, and access to paid employment are among these factors. In this chapter we focus on the ways in which precarious employment shapes the parenting practices of marginalized men in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Formalised community psychology, and its critical variations in particular, has long been concerned with psychosocial change. Emerging from a developing method of collaborative thinking and writing, we consider in this chapter what a liberatory Africa(n)-centred community psychology might look and feel like, particularly in contexts of decolonialit...
Article
Drawing a line from Black men dehumanized by racism to radical political love, I open up about my experience of racism-induced fear of White people. The fear of Whites is tied to having grown up in a racist society. This fear of Whites is read as a fear of Black death due to racism, a fear of bodily death as much as social nonexistence. The article...
Article
Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, which has deepened existing global struggles against coloniality and racist, heteropatriarchal, and capitalist social formations, this special issue focuses on Fanon, Southern Theory, and Psychoanalysis: Dialogues on Race, Gender, and Sexuality. In dialogue with the work of Frantz Fanon—a key figure in t...
Article
Coloniality continues to invade the psychomaterial lives of the condemned. Invoking psychoanalysis and phenomenology to engage with modern psychopathologies and race, gender, and sexuality, Fanon developed seminal ideas on social suffering in the context of colonial violence on psychic life. In reading Fanon, we discern two challenges: the decoloni...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we offer a conversation (or rather, a product of an ongoing series of historical and current conversations) whose aim is to orient ourselves and the reader to a number of intellectual, political, practical, and theoretical concerns that surround decolonial Africa(n)-centred community psychologies. In the first part of the chapter,...
Article
Contributing to work that locates the place of psychology in countering coloniality, we explore in this article what and for whom is a decolonising African psychology. We answer these questions not with a definitive statement, but through several moves, signals, and routes. First, we conceptualise African psychology as a kind of transdisciplinary p...
Article
Coloniality represents the contemporary patterns of power and domination that emerged in the late 15th century during the so-called classic era of colonialism. Although much of psychology and psychological thought has adhered to the logic of coloniality, there is also a considerable body of work that has sought to decolonize psychology. It is withi...
Article
Following the launch of our first special issue in December 2020 (Cann et al. 2020) we are delighted to publish this second, linked issue. As evidence of the impact and dominance of Raewyn Connell’s ideas and their influence on the field, we received so many high-quality abstracts in response to our call for papers that we decided to create two col...
Article
Full-text available
Following the launch of our first special issue in December 2020 (Cann et al. 2020) we are delighted to publish this second, linked issue. As evidence of the impact and dominance of Raewyn Connell’s ideas and their influence on the field, we received so many high-quality abstracts in response to our call for papers that we decided to create two col...
Chapter
Higher education as a system is characterised by persistent inequality, which is particularly inherent in South Africa. As a result of the enduring legacy of colonialism and apartheid, as well as processes of neoliberalism and globalisation, students from certain categories of identity are marginalised, whereas others are privileged. An essential e...
Article
Suicidal behaviour (e.g., suicide and suicide attempt) is a multifaceted phenomenon which often draws on several social and psychological contexts. This research examines how men’s suicides and attempted suicides are embedded in the contextual praxis of intimate relationships in Bangladesh. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken wit...
Article
Abstract: Suicide is a serious public and social health problem in Bangladesh. The seasonal variance in suicide is an under-researched area in Bangladesh which needs attention due to the nature of its prevalence. This article describes the seasonal variation of suicide for a Bangladeshi district named Jhenaidah for the 2011-2018 period. Suicide dat...
Article
It is twenty years since the publication of Raewyn Connell’s highly influential text The Men and the Boys . This book, building on feminist and pro-feminist perspectives of gender formation, was written over a ten-year period from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. It was published five years after the release of the groundbreaking text Masculinitie...
Article
Despite the World Health Organization's (WHO) call to adopt a national action plan on suicide, Bangladesh is yet to respond proactively to prevent this serious public health problem. The existing government and non‐government prevention interventions are very limited, segmented and almost invisible. Suicide (including attempted suicide) is currentl...
Article
Departing from the position that critical African psychology is an endeavour whose objective is to harness psychological knowledge in, by, for, and with Africa, as well as the world, but also to critically think Africa into psychology, this article considers space as a key idea to consider in the further development of African psychology, and more...
Article
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Suicidal behaviour is as significant a public-health concern in the global South as it is worldwide. In this article we offer a review of studies on suicidal behaviour in two countries in the global South-one in Asia (Bangladesh) and one in Africa (South Africa). A total of 20 South African and 16 Bangladeshi articles published between 2008 and 201...
Article
Violence against women in the home is a serious global social, health and human rights problem which transcends every level of society. Many countries have enacted and implemented specific legal policy interventions, often referred to as the "Domestic Violence Act", in order to protect women from violence at home. Although the Domestic Violence (Pr...
Article
(In lieu of an abstract, here is the first paragraph.) It is twenty years since the publication of Raewyn Connell's highly influential text The Men and the Boys. This book, building on feminist and pro-feminist perspectives of gender formation, was written over a ten-year period from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. It was published five years af...
Article
Background: Suicide and attempted suicide are a serious but under-explored public health problem in Bangladesh. Survey estimates suggest that Jhenaidah District, one of the 64 districts that make up Bangladesh, is one of the highest suicide-prone regions in Bangladesh. Relatively little is known about the magnitude of suicide attempts in the distri...
Cover Page
Full-text available
This is the cover of the forthcoming book, The World Looks Like This From Here: Thoughts on African Psychology (Wits Press), Kopano Ratele. The book will be out late August 2019.
Article
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Gender is constitutive of men's collective and personal relations to women. Although there are regional, national, and institutional differences and dynamics to consider, gender inequality affects most, if not all, societies. The fields of natural sciences, medicine, and global health are no exception. The collective privilege of men, and their pow...
Technical Report
Full-text available
There is no typical father in South Africa. There are many types of fathers and many types of fatherhood in the country. There are biological fathers, social fathers, gay fathers, straight fathers, young fathers, older fathers. We have selfidentified fatherhood, ascribed fatherhood, long-distance fatherhood and proximal fatherhood, to name only a f...
Article
Conceptual disagreement remains rife with regard to African psychology with some scholars mistakenly equating it to, for example, ethnotheorizing and traditional healing, while others confound African psychology with Africanization and racialization. Using writing as inquiry, this article aims to clear up some of the conceptual confusion on African...
Chapter
The psyche of Black South Africa, more than two decades after the demise of apartheid, remains blighted by the mental subjugation of white as the aspirational standard connoting excellence, superiority and the epitome of desirability. The subordination of black in all spheres of SA life despite their majority demographic, and the insidious resurrec...
Article
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Background: In light of the global health burden of violence, which is predominantly perpetrated by men, studies have explored the relationship between masculinities and violence. However, there is a relative lack of work focusing on non-hegemonic men and masculinities in relation to violence. Such work has the potential to advance violence prevent...
Article
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(In lieu of an abstract this is the article's first page) Thesis 1: All of human psychology is African psychology Read from below, from the perspective of victims of slavery, colonialism and contemporary racism, histories of knowledge are reminders of subjection. Europe's triumphant march of progress expresses the destruction of indigenous know-h...
Article
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How might psychology less alienatingly study African men and boys? What potential contribution, in other words, might a situated psychology make towards understanding men and boys? Urged by these questions, and grounded in the view that there is still relatively little concerning Africa for itself, as well as much that is dehumanising of Africans w...
Article
Young people in contemporary South Africa inhabit a multiplicity of diverse, often contradictory, economic and socio-cultural contexts. These contexts offer a range of possibilities and opportunities for the affirmation of certain identities and positionalities alongside the disavowal of others. Dress – clothes, accessories and body styling – is on...
Article
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In “What is African psychology the psychology of?,” Augustine Nwoye asks a question that continues to trouble those with an interest in psychology in relation to African societies. This question, in various semblances, is not entirely new. And, to be sure, it is far from unique to Africa but instead tends to worry many socially conscious psychologi...
Article
In this paper I examine the question of how masculinities and men's sexualties challenge, seek to become, and are resisted from becoming, part of tradition, as well as how such a confrontation is contigent on space. I employ the case of a famous ‘traditional’ gay wedding that took place in the relatively small township of KwaDukuza in KwaZulu, Sout...
Article
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Background: High rates of violence and HIV have been documented within the South African context. Constructions of masculinity and femininity that position men as dominant and highly sexually active and women as subordinate and acquiescent have been found to contribute towards gender inequality. This inequality is in turn related to negative health...
Article
With the dismantling of apartheid in 1994, significant changes were made to higher education in South Africa. Access to higher education has expanded and student bodies are now more representative in terms of gender and race. However, demographic change alone is insufficient for higher education transformation. As in other parts of the world, withi...
Article
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Background: South Africa has a significant violence problem. The exposure of girls and women to interpersonal violence is widespread, and the victimization of men, especially to severe and homicidal forms of aggression, is of considerable concern, with male homicide eight times the global rate. In the last two decades, there have been a plethora o...
Article
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Over the last two decades, a focus on challenging and transforming dominant forms of masculinity and engaging boys and men towards gender equality and healthy masculinities has permeated South African social and health sciences and the humanities. This focus on men and boys has also been evident in intervention and activist work. However, the turn...
Article
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AThe concept ‘traditional masculinity’ appears frequently in research on gender from multiple, diverse contexts. Yet there sometimes appears to be a surprising lack of critical engagement with the concept in such work. Its meaning is at times taken for granted, yet the diversity of ways and contexts in which it is deployed demonstrates the importan...
Article
Dialoguing across national borders and specifically global North-South centres and margins has increasingly been viewed as a way to enhance critical and feminist studies and engagement with men and masculinities. This article draws on narratives generated by a group of researchers in South Africa and Finland who have been engaged in a transnational...
Article
Grounding itself in an international South Africa–Finland collaborative project, ‘engaging South African and Finnish youth towards new traditions of non-violence, equality and social well-being’, this reflective paper considers how our locatedness as researchers potentially influences our research choices, perspectives and sociopolitical work. The...
Article
Dialoguing across national borders and specifically global North–South centres and margins has increasingly been viewed as a way to enhance critical and feminist studies and engagement with men and masculinities. This article draws on narratives generated by a group of researchers in South Africa and Finland who have been engaged in a transnational...
Article
Full-text available
Informed by Césaire's awareness on the singularity of the black situation as well as Biko's sense of the consequence of black-conscious solidarity for overcoming white racism, I present some notes concerning social cohesion. I counsel against social cohesion without socioeconomic justice. I would like us to consider how we might radically rework wh...
Article
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Tradition is an ubiquitous yet in the main veiled question in the annals of Psychology in Society (PINS) and critical psychology. The traditions I have in mind are what might be provisionally be referred to as "African traditions". Critical psychology seems to be comfortable with neglecting doing some self-examination on its African traditions or a...
Article
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In the aftermath of the 1980s legislation introduced under the "total strategy" of the South African government under then president PW Botha, critical social scientist groupings reflected on the intellectual and programmatic responses required to counter the racist and undemocratic policies of the time. Since the formal demise of these polices and...
Article
Based on two relatively well-reported cases of homophobia in Malawi and South Africa, this article aims to show some of the ways in which hegemonic African men and masculinities are unsettled by, but also find ideological use for, the existence of homosexuality and nonheteronormative sexualities. Deploying the notion of psychopolitics, the article...
Article
South Africa’s unprecedented levels of violence, which trigger significant health, economic, and social consequences, are marked by pronounced gendered, age-related, and socio-economic features. Extensive poverty, prolonged unemployment and income inequality, gender inequality, patriarchal notions of masculinity, exposure to abuse in childhood and...
Article
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South African research on men, boys and masculinities appears to be underachieving. The article presents a number of research-related and socio-political discursive cross-currents tied to this unconvincing performance. These are currents within and against which masculinities are produced and masculinities research conducted. They are seen as oppos...
Article
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The legacy of apartheid and continued social and economic change have meant that many South African men and women have grown up in families from which biological fathers are missing. In both popular and professional knowledge and practice this has been posed as inherently a problem particularly for boys who are assumed to lack a positive male role...
Article
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If the ultimate purpose of critical engagement with black men and masculinities is the development of progressive masculinities, the growing body of scholarly, pedagogical and media-related work on men and masculinities in South Africa has reached a dead end – or something close to it. This article employs three media pieces as springboards to high...
Article
Homicidal violence is a masculine enterprise, overwhelmingly undertaken against males by other males. Black young men are the most likely victims. Among several posited explanations for the vulnerability of members of this group to fatal is the legacy of apartheid segregation, aweak criminal-justice system and, of special interest here, hegemonic m...
Article
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‘The fear of being perceived as gay, as not a real man, keeps men exaggerating all the traditional rules of masculinity, including sexual predation with women’. This view on men's sexual (Following feminists such as Tamale [2011. African Sexualities: A Reader. Nairobi: Pambazuka Press] that thinking on ‘sexuality without looking at gender is like c...
Article
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Chapter
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This chapter focuses on the historical constitution, habitation and performance of whiteness in South Africa, but aims to complicate white identification practices, as well as the privileges and dominance of whiteness, by means of an archive and sensitivity to dynamics broader than the economic.
Chapter
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Applying a Freudian psychoanalytic frame, informed by a Fanonian approach to a psychology of colonial oppression, we unpack narratives from the Apartheid Archive Project that speak to the complex ways in which stories about sexuality and racism are intricately enmeshed. We are particularly interested in exploring the way in which these intersecting...
Article
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The absence of biological fathers in South Africa has been constructed as a problem for children of both sexes but more so for boy-children. Arguably the dominant discourse in this respect has demonized non-nuclear, female-headed households. Fathers are constructed as either absent or 'bad'. Thus it has become important to explore more closely how...
Article
The aim of this article is to analyze the operation of nostalgia in the Apartheid Archive Project narratives. In total, a corpus of 138 narratives was read with nostalgia as a frame and 23 narratives were selected for further analysis in which the relationship between Black subjects and parental figures were the focus. Themes that emerged were the...
Article
The aim of this article is to analyze the operation of nostalgia in the Apartheid Archive Project narratives. In total, a corpus of 138 narratives was read with nostalgia as a frame and 23 narratives were selected for further analysis in which the relationship between Black subjects and parental figures were the focus. Themes that emerged were the...
Article
Full-text available
Looking at, seeing, being looked at or being seen by certain people can afford libidinal excitation,1 1. Libidinal excitation is taken to mean the generation of energy associated with the libido, where libido means the psychical energy and desire derived from biological drives, specifically the sexual drive. View all notes but it also can be a sour...
Article
Let me say this upfront. When Race trouble was launched I was the guest speaker. Others may think it a flattering gesture to get invited to speak at a book launch, but it brings with it all manner of trouble. There may be a feeling on such an occasion for the guest, having agreed to talk, to praise the authors while crossing fingers behind one's ba...
Article
In an effort to disentangle the threads of the complex, interwoven fabric of apartheid sexualities, this paper draws on narratives of the Apartheid Archive Project to explore the sexualizing force of racism and the racialising force of gendered sexuality. We do this by isolating three key dynamics operating on both the material and the psychical te...