What Could the White Body Do For Decolonising Psychology? 31 Questions




With my White, sick bones-cum-ancestors, I analyse my pedagogical attempts at ‘decolonising Psychology’ to theorise whiteness and experiment with praxis. While White supremacy is seen and felt by Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour, it is unseen by White people, thereby triggering discomfort and fragility when brought to the surface. But what if White supremacy is both unseen and unfelt by White people, if White discomfort and fragility involve White fusion– a refusing and re-fusing of feeling that otherwise threatens our sense of innocence and mastery? Implicating coloniality, the flesh and the more-than-human, this ‘re/fusal’ suggests that decolonising Psychology requires an embodied, inspirited praxis; letting go of innocence, mastery and re/fusal for an unfamiliar otherworld of response-ability, humility and imagination. These changes may revive the psykhe – breath – of Psychology within coloniality, helping us to conspire with those rising against this state of breathlessness. While this Abstract has reflected on content, I conclude with a ‘Concrete’ that reflects on form, before offering responses from a Māori and Pākehā scholar.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.