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For Whom the Bell Tolls: The future of Community Psychology "Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.“ - Marquis De Sade.

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Presentation on theme: "For Whom the Bell Tolls: The future of Community Psychology "Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.“ - Marquis De Sade."— Presentation transcript:

1 For Whom the Bell Tolls: The future of Community Psychology "Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.“ - Marquis De Sade

2 The Toolkit of CP 1.Predisposition to scrutinize established mores and notions of right and wrong 2.Reluctance to take interpretations and research results for granted 3.Tendency to keep irregularities in mind, like those odds and ends that do not fit in an otherwise well- arranged framework 4.Proclivity to watch our likes and dislikes 5.Propensity to travel light; not loading oneself with too many prefabricated notions or colored lenses that may prevent you from being surprised 6.Enjoy being naive

3 Pop Quiz What community practices and norms are changing? What should be changed? Who wants those changes (groups or individuals)? What specific modes of relating to people should be the targets of change? Have our ways of doing and being within the community changed? How and why? Can you tell how much of your criticism comes from personal experience, prejudice or theoretical notions? What dominant social discourses prevent those changes from occurring?

4 Food for Thought “The very definition of Community Psychology has changed from one based on deficits to one based on strengths, agency and resilience.” (p520) Objectives have moved from “right to be different” to access to services, to liberation and well-being

5 What is Liberation? “Be a lamp unto yourself. Work out your liberation with diligence.” - Buddha A psychology mindful of people’s virtues and assets in pursuing change A systematic study of popular organizations as instruments of liberation A new way to understand reality based upon the vicissitudes of marginalized populations A new psychological praxis contributing to change A recovery of collective memory A way to conceive liberation as a historic and collective process

6 Co-existence and Co-presence We want people to take more control over their lives, yet we want them to take into consideration other people’s needs for control “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

7 Empowerment and Influence “Empowerment is based upon the ability of community members to effectively use the resources they have to acquire new ones and to overcome oppressive conditions while they change their own lives in the process.” (p524) “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

8 The ‘Oughts of CP Local and Global Values: – Holism must apply to the whole person, the whole community, and the whole context – Health must apply to physical and spiritual well-being – Solidarity must reflect caring, support and compassion not only for those close to us but also for those we may never get to know in far away places – Self-determination should be about personal decisions while collectively determining what to do about our community and world – Social justice ought to encompass both rights and duties towards those close to us and far away from us Diversity Values: – The right to be different in equality – Accountability must be to oppressed groups and to the groups with which we work – Participation should reflect the fact that community research and action are not isolated tasks but the joint labor of many people, sometimes across continents

9 Politics of CP “You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln De-ideologizing Conscientizing Problematizing Participatory Democracy “An alternative mode of political behavior” (p526)

10 The Speed of Change “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “The maximum speed of change at the macro level of legal, political, and economic systems is faster than the maximum speed of change at the micro level of everyday behavior.” (Moghaddam, 2002, p.33) Change can happen quickly at the institutional level, but not be rooted in society for quite some time.

11 The Habitus An undisputed, expected, and non-conscious behavior, in tune with social norms, which helps the person to cope with unanticipated circumstances in ways that reproduce and support the social structure 1.A regular practice associated with a socially structured environment 2.A lasting behavior 3.A structured and structuring behavior following a stable and established pattern 4.Carried out without either a consciously chosen direction or explicit mastery of the operations needed to achieve its goals 5.Adjusts to collective regulations without specific instructions 6.Allows people to cope with unexpected situations 7.An implicit anticipation of the consequences of such situations 8.A socially coded and explicit response 9.Tends to reproduce objective social structures of which it is an effect 10.Lacks strategic intention of its own

12 But what about… Heredity? Consciousness? Unconsciousness? Collective Unconsciousness? Epi-genetics? How does one effect change with issues that may be eons old?

13 CP begins with the Individual “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” – Pericles “The whole earth is the tomb of heroic men [and women] and their story is not given only on stone over their clay but abides everywhere without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other[s] lives.” – Pericles

14 “I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.” - Javan


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