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Chapter 13

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Department
Psychology
Course
PS282
Professor
Colleen Loomis
Semester
Winter

Description
PS282 – Community Psychology Chapter 13 Summary Community and Social Change PICO: Community Organizing for Social Power  The PICO network is a national network of local faith-based groups.  Their community organizing strategies combine building strong interpersonal and community relationships with assertive group tactics to influence community leaders and institutions.  Based on religious congregations in low-income communities  PICO community organizing proceeds through a cycle of organizing  4 phases: (1) assessment – members of the community organization meet one-to-one with citizens to define community issues and to develop working partnerships that strengthen the group (2) research – organization members meet as a whole to identify the pressing community issue for the group, based on their conversations with citizens. (3) mobilization/action – organization members meet to decide on an action plan and a person or office to be targeted to discuss community changes. The key function of the problem and actions that citizens demand to resolve it (4) reflection – returns to one-to-one relationships where the cycle began to evaluate outcomes and lessons learned CINCH: A Community Health Coalition  Health is often understood as an individual responsibility  Community problems such as youth and family violence, drug abuse, sexism…etc are linked to health outcomes  Community coalition – an organization composed of representatives of multiple community groups who bring together their resources to achieve a common goal that none of them could attain alone  CINCH members work to develop a clear task focus  They developed a mission statement with five goals: increasing public awareness of childhood immunization, determining the causes of low immunization rates, forming and implementing plans to increase immunizations, evaluating and revising these strategies and sharing results with other communities.  It also built cohesion and commitment among members  Coalition conducted a needs assessment to learn about the problem of under immunization in Norfolk.  CINCH benefited from its focus on children’s health, a population and issue that have few public opponents. Preventing Homelessness: Policy Research and Advocacy  at least 10% of US residents experience being homeless at least once in their lifetime  homelessness can be thought of as an individual problem (according to a primarily individualistic culture) requiring programs to help homeless individuals change  public policy makers are beginning to think of homelessness in terms of access to housing, not simply individual deficits.  This change in perspective reflects a growing change in the way that the government officials, community service and public health administrators, advocates for the homeless, researchers and others think and speak about the issue.  This shift has been supported by community psychology research; studies have shown the importance of access to housing in reducing homelessness  There are programs put housing first are more effective and less costly. These programs place homeless persons with mental illness in subsidized housing first then offer treatment and support services rather than requiring them to receive mental health treatment in transitional housing programs before becoming eligible for their own housing.  Limitation: research alone is not enough to influence policy Seven Approaches to Community and Social Change (1)Consciousness Raising  Involves increasing citizens’ critical awareness of social conditions and energizing their involvement in challenging and changing those conditions  Consciousness is raised as women and men become aware of personal experiences with sexism in the workplace and in the family  Action and reflection feed each other  Consciousness raising distinctively emphasizes personal and social transformation  Out of the seven approaches, CR addresses personal values, awareness and commitment  Community readiness – refers to how much a locality recognizes a problem and takes steps to address or prevent it  Tri ethnic prevention research center proposed a nine stage model of community readiness… in their model readiness involves knowledge of problem and of methods to address it The nine stages include: (1) no awareness of the problem (2) denial that it is a local problem, even if a problem elsewhere (3) vague awareness of the problem but without local efforts to address it (4) preplanning and local information gathering about the problem (5) preparing strategies for community change, led by a local team (6) initiating programs or policy changes to address the problem (7) establishing changes within local organizations such as schools, with local resources (8) evaluating, improving and expanding them over time (9) maintaining strong program support, evaluation and excellence  Strategies for moving through the stages include identifying and influencing opinion leaders in the community, gathering and disseminating information in focus groups and the media, focusing on local examples and statistics regarding program, integrating program or policy improvement (2) Social Action  Identifies specific obstacles to empowerment of disadvantaged groups and creates constructive conflict to remove these obstacles through direct, nonviolent action.  It has a long history including labor movements in many countries  The effectiveness of social action methods in attaining their immediate goals depend on the context but in the right circumstances they can lead to surprising changes  It involves power and conflict  If powerful elites limit citizen participation in a decision, adroit choice of a social action can assert citizen views and frame the issue in their terms  Social action generates more participation if it asks citizens to do familiar things  Effective social action requires bringing out numbers of committed, organized citizens to oppose powerful interests (3) Community Development  Involves a process of strengthening relationships among community members to define community problems, resources and strategies for actions  It does not rely on conflict unlike social action  Community development approaches often bring together the resources of multiple groups in a locality such as neighbourhood and civic organizations, religious congregations, businesses, schools, youth groups, libraries and other community resources  Community development focuses on one or more of four domains: - economic development (e.g., of businesses and jobs) - political development: of community organization to influence decisions in the community and at wider levels
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