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Title: The rise and fall of academic community psychology in Palestine and the way forward
Authors: Makkawi, Ibrahim
Keywords: Community psychology - Palestine
Community psychology - South Africa
Community psychology - Latin America
Decolonization - Palestine
Decolonization - Palestine
Decolonization - Latin America
Decolonization - South Africa
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: In this article, I examine the inception of a decolonised community psychology programme in the Palestinian colonial context and its subsequent decline and setback. I describe the background to the Palestinian colonial condition, and the theoretical inspiration for the programme by the shortlived experience of grassroots organising during the first Palestinian Intifada is illustrated. Specific pedagogical and research activities, marked by the influence of the Latin American liberation psychology model, are presented and discussed. These include a focus on praxis, dialogical education, conscientisation and community participatory action research. I consider the influence of the South African experience on the programme principally in reference to Steve Biko’s notion of Black Consciousness, which translated to Palestinian collective-national identity, as well as relevance in psychological knowledge. In the concluding section, I appraise the setback of the programme in light of administrative and epistemological debates with related disciplines that shifted from psychologicalindividualistic reductionism to social-cultural reductionism. I conclude with the assertion that unless framed within the context of the broader anti-colonial national liberation movement, a decolonised community psychology has minimal chances to survive and thrive
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