Geraldine Moane
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Postcolonial legacies and the Irish psyche
in Are the Irish different?
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This chapter illustrates the importance and a postcolonial analysis of the Irish context. It outlines some assumptions of postcolonial psychology and considers the ways in which psychologists have described the Irish psyche, particularly through assigning attributes. Postcolonial psychology engages with contexts and concepts related to historical processes of colonisation, postcolonial development and decolonisation. It draws on early writings on the psychology of colonisation, notably those of Frantz Fanon and Albert Memmi, and on postcolonial theory. Postcolonial theory elaborates concepts that are of interest to psychologists, such as culture, discourse, identity and consciousness. A recurring theme in postcolonial psychology concerns the loss or suppression of indigenous psychologies and healing practices as a result of colonisation. An approach to both psychological and political transformation utilises both traditional psychological practices and emerging indigenous or transpersonal practices. The chapter focuses on discussions that make explicit links to our history of colonisation.

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