Understanding the nature of prominence
2014-03-14

 

What did Hendrik Verwoerd and Steve Biko have in common? Or perhaps Johannes Kerkorrel and Brenda Fassie?

“They all possessed a certain natural predisposition to prominence,” says Prof Paul Fouche, reseacher in psychobiography at the University of the Free State’s Department of Psychology.

Prof Fouche and a team of researchers from other South African universities released findings on psychobiographical studies done on personalities that played a great role in our history.

The studies show that notable historical figures were very often prolific readers with a passion for literature since childhood. Generally, they also had a great love for nature and a sense of the sacredness of it, as well as a love for the cosmos.

The study further reveals that many of them were forced to take up leadership roles in the family from a very young age and were driven to succeed in order to take care of their own.

In many of these cases, there was a strong partner who supported the leader while they went about the business of governing their world.

Psychobiography is the systematic and descriptively-rich case study of renowned, enigmatic or even contentious individuals in socio-historical contexts within a psychological frame of reference. Over the past decade, psychobiography has become an established research genre and a methodology used by various academics and scholars in the field of life history research.


FACULTY CONTACT

T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Postgraduate:
Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Undergraduate:
Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept