Community Chapter 14.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Colleen Loomis

Chapter 14: Looking Ahead Emerging trends in community psychology - An emerging science of community o Wanderson (2003) proposed the term community science for an interdisciplinary field that would bridge gaps between empirical research and development of programs and policy and everyday practice in communities o His focus was on prevention and promotion o Articulating a community science approach was necessary to address the shortcomings of the prevention science research and development approach-advocated by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) o In the IOM approach, research identifies a disorder or behavior problem and its associated risk and preventative factors o Experts promote generalization and implementation of the effective programs in communities o Wandersman argued that prevention science is useful but not sufficient for meeting certain challenges-a new field-community science is needed o While wanderson was thinking at a collective level for the field, Biglan and Smolkowski proposed a role description for community psychologists at the local level involving collaboration, citizen participation and empirical research o In their conception, a local community psychologyist would faciliate strategic planning and implementing of programs and policies by local citizens for community well being which would include four general tasks:  Monitoring local community well being (collecting info from surveys, info sources)  Facilitating planning (helping organize community coalitions to address issues)  Articulate what works (community psychologist voices a problem or gaol the citizens have chosen)  Consultation, training and evaluation (community psychologists assist communities in implementing and evaluating policies) o the diversity of approaches in community psychology share a value for grounding action in empirical research, thus they embody the role proposed at the Swampscott conference: the participant conceptualizer - Growing Awareness of the Global Diversity of Communities o Over half of the members of community psychology professional organizations now live outside the US o The development of comm. pych in each country has its own unique story o There appears to be substantial overlap in core values of these comm.. psychologists across countries o Within Canada and the US there is also growing awareness of the diversity of comm. psych in different regions o In the last 10 years, the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA)-the professional organization for comm. psychologists in the US and Canada- has created new working groups based on awareness of the diversity of interests among community psychologists o The proportion of the SCRA members who identify themselves at a minority (23%) has been steadily growing and is now four times the proportion of such members in the American Psychological Association o Rural community psychology interventions focus on barriers to participation in services-development of internet resources has potential for overcoming some of these barriers o Community psychology journals increasingly contain culturally anchored research and interventions o Greater inclusion of diverse perspectives has transformative effects of how comm. psychologists conduct research, collaborate with comm. members, design interventions and conceptualize their work o Along with increasing diversity, comm. psych will be confronting the challenge of addressing social change in an increasingly globalized world o Marsella proposed developing initiatives for a global-community psychology to study the links between economic and political forces of globalization o Globalization refers to the centralizing effects of market capitalism, advertising, mass media and values of individualization and economic output o Indigenization refers to the consciousness of traditional collective values and community bonds of indigenous ethnic cultures and local communities o Indigenous resistance to globalization is increasing as local communities seek to conserve their identities and values o Attending to the values of diversity and community can require the need for new approaches to interventions and collaboration o Townley has argued that a community-diversity dialectic forms a creative tension for the field that will be critical for its development in the next decade - Broadening concern with Social Justice o Social justice has been important in choice of with whom prevention and health promotions are conducted; these have emphasized a distributive justice concerned with access to resources and how comm. psych interventions might be used to connect people with resources o Empowerment initiatives emphasize understandings of procedural justice o Social justice concerns have begun to be incorporated into evaluative criteria of scientific work by critical comm. psychologists o Critical comm. psychologists encourage the field to examine power assumptions in light of social justice values o Martin-Baro worked to promote mental health and well-being by confronting oppression before he was murdered in 1989 o Martin argued that an emphasis on a social justice perspective reminds us to identify oppressive conditions and work toward creating access to resources for all citizens o Understanding many forms of human diversity and many communities requires understanding issues of social justice and an understanding of macrosystems o In june 2005, the American psychological association (APA) authorized the participation of psychologists in the interrogation of detainees held in military prisons o In response to the APA’s actions, a group of psychologist formed the Coalition for an ethical psychology and psychologists for an Ethical APA in 2006. - Collaborative, Participatory Research and Action o Because communities are diverse, it also is likely that different conceptions of collaboration and citizen participation will be useful in different communities o Models for collaboration and participatory action research are being re- examined and adapted to fit the contexts of projects o The applications of collaborative and participatory methods with different populations will require adaptation and evaluation of methodological assumptions o Langhout and Thoman devoted a special issue of the American Journal of Community Psychology to the
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