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Colonised minds and community psychology in the academy: Collaborative autoethnographic reflections

Drake, Eleanor; Jeffrey, Grant; Duckett, Paul


Grant Jeffrey

Paul Duckett


We reflect on decolonization and in particular the process of decolonizing our own minds. We discuss the need for radical decolonization of psychology and for critique of community psychology's relationship to both psychology and the Academy, noting ways in which community psychology itself becomes appropriated for the colonizing project of the Academy. Using collaborative autoethnography (CAE), a method that involves “collaborative poetics,” which chimes with the emphasis on participatory research in community psychology and the decolonialist emphasis on rescuing repressed epistemologies, we review our own careers and identify ways in which our values have been compromised and our work assimilated into wider colonizing and oppressive practices that sustain the modern university. We conclude that community psychology can only decolonize if it is positioned in an agonistic relationship to mainstream psychology and exists as a radical, explicitly political, and ethical practice outside the Academy. The message of the decolonization and disalienation movements is that the biggest barrier to our effectiveness, and to social justice, is the fascism of our minds. Succumbing to the power and privilege embedded in the Academy and the oppressive and colonizing practices that sustain it conflicts with community psychology's purported values.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 27, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 7, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date May 26, 2022
Journal American Journal of Community Psychology
Print ISSN 0091-0562
Electronic ISSN 1573-2770
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 3-4
Pages 415-425
Keywords collaborative autoethnography, community psychology, decolonizing minds, deterritorialization, disalienation, distributive justice, epistemicide, higher education
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