The career development experiences of Black African female psychologists in South Africa : a narrative approach.
Fabiano, Débora Katembo Sassamela.
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This study investigated Black African female psychologists’ lived experiences of career development. The purpose was to describe the influences of the community on the career development of Black female psychologists. It also aimed to explore the challenges and successes of these women’s career lives in order to generate knowledge to understand Black female psychologists’ career development dynamics. This qualitative study was informed by narrative/hermeneutic approaches and Black feminist thought frameworks. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 Black African female psychologists. Results show that Black African female psychologists faced numerous challenges such as lack of family and community support in some cases; limited understanding of psychology in their communities and health sectors, as well as financial problems and discourses of inferiority throughout their professional training. The lack of relevance of their academic training to the multicultural society, in which they have to practise, was emphasised. The intersection of gender, race and class was evident in most of the narratives. The role of emotion and spirituality in the career development of some of the participants was highlighted. The results are discussed in relation to the literature.
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