Feminisms and Decolonizing Psychology: The Example of Abortion
Friday, November 25, 20225:00 am – 6:30 am EST/GMT-5
5 AM New York l 11 AM Vienna
The Transnational Feminism, Solidarity, and Social Justice lecture series continues with Catriona Macleod, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, SARChI Chair of Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction at Rhodes University, South Africa, who will speak about feminisms in relation to decolonization in the discipline of psychology.
Macleod will use the insights generated in a special issue of Feminism & Psychology, which she co-edited with Sunil Bhatia and Wen Liu, grounding the discussion in the politics of abortion. In the editorial, the authors highlight a number of guiding principles for feminist decolonizing psychology. In her talk, Macleod will focus on two in relation to abortion.
The first principle is undermining the patriarchal colonialist legacy of mainstream psychological science. Macleod will discuss the devastating effects that a discourse of psychological damage has on women’s access and responses to safe abortion. This discourse, generated for the most part in the US, is paired with an almost complete silence on the psychological consequences of unsafe abortion in restrictive legislative environments in the Global South.
The second principle concerns connecting gendered coloniality with other systems of power, such as globalization. Macleod will discuss the negative effects of the Global Gag Rule, which sees restrictions on abortion being tied to conditionalities of US government aid to Global South countries.
Catriona Macleod is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology, SARChI Chair of Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction at Rhodes University, South Africa, and editor-in-chief of Feminism & Psychology. Professor Macleod’s major scholarly contributions have been in two main areas: sexual and reproductive health and feminist theory in psychology. She has written extensively in national and international journals in relation to teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexuality education, feminist psychology and postcolonialism. She is the author of the multi-award winning book entitled ‘Adolescence’, Pregnancy and Abortion: Constructing a Threat of Degeneration (Routledge 2010) and three other books. She has received multiple awards, the latest of which is the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Critical Health Psychology.
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