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Title: Rethinking community psychology : critical insights
Authors: Coimbra, Joaquim Luis
Duckett, Paul
Fryer, David
Makkawi, Ibrahim
Menezes, Isabel
Seedat, Mohamed
Walker, Carl
Keywords: Community psychology
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: The Australian Psychological Society
Abstract: At first sight there appear to be, internationally, many diverse, radical, manifestations of community psychology. However, community psychology has gradually become decreasingly diverse and decreasingly radical the more it has become academically and professionally established and evangelised and it is now endangered as a critical alternative to the disciplinary ideologies, theories, procedures and practices of mainstream psychology. As a consequence, the interests of people whose lives are most characterised by immiseration, suffering, social injustice and oppression are increasingly blighted and increasingly threatened. However, these reactionary developments were and are not inevitable and can be reversed by those collectively committed to community critical psychologyIn this paper, despite many differences in our constituting contexts, approaches and work, we come together in solidarity as community critical psychologists to emphasise our common commitment to the development and enactment of community critical psychologies, and our common opposition to the dominant community (acritical) psychologies. The ordering of terms is significant here. We are committed to the wider spectrum of critical psychologies which expose and contest community injustice and misery rather than to the subset of community psychologies which are critical in standpoint. We are critical in relation to oppressive and unjust societal arrangements but also critical in relation to community psychologies, and other manifestations of ‘psy’, which collude with or actually construct and maintain oppression and injustice. Although the concept of community is central to community critical psychology, it is remarkable how seldom and howsuperficially the notion of community has been subjected to critical – that is, historical, political and ideological – critique by community psychologists who use the term (Fryer & Laing, 2008; Kagan, Burton, Duckett, Lawthom, & Siddiquee, 2011). In dominant discourses, community is usually positioned either as a ‘safe’, ‘warm’, and ‘friendly’ ‘place’ or as one which is marginal, amoral, anomic, foreboding, forbidding and frightening. Because the uncritical construction of community can lead to a justification for processes of ‘othering’, exclusion and apartheid-construction through boundary drawinge
Description: An article published in : The Australian Community Psychologist, vol. 24, no. 2, November 2012, pp. 135-142
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