Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

pp 1444-1448

Postcolonial Psychology

  • Geraldine MoaneAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, University College Dublin Email author 
  • , Christopher SonnAffiliated withCollege of Arts, Victoria University


Postcolonial psychology engages with contexts and concepts related to historical processes of colonization, postcolonial development, and decolonization and aims to elucidate their psychological, political, and cultural manifestations. It draws on early writings on the psychology of colonization, notably those of Frantz Fanon and Albert Memmi, on several works by indigenous writers, and on a range of contemporary writings in critical social theory, literary theory, and cultural studies. Early writings tended to focus on structures of power and psychological dynamics, while a lot of contempray work adopts a discursive or postmodernist approach, attending to cultural representation, identity, and location, with particular reference to migration, gender, race, and ethnicity.


The word postcolonial was initially defined historically to refer to nations, countries, or states where a colonial regime had ended through warfare or negotiation. Postcolon ...

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