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Title: Towards an emerging paradigm of critical community psychology in Palestine
Authors: Makkawi, Ibrahim
Keywords: Community psychology - Palestine
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper sets forth an argument delineating the significance and imperative need for an emerging paradigm of critical community psychology as an indispensable approach to understanding and alleviating the conditions of poor community mental health, which follow prolonged colonialist oppression in occupied Palestine, specifically in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. I assess key historical turning points in the Palestinian socio-political context as they pertain to community mental health in general and advance an argument for the urgency of shifting our community mental health practices towards those consistent with a critical and liberatory version of community psychology. The current stagnation in community mental health practices is manifested by the disconnection between the wide variety of ‘training projects’ conducted by myriad NGOs on one hand, and accumulating reductionist, positivistic and individualistic research about the effects of military violence on psychological well being on the other. I conclude this paper by describing a masters program in community psychology which has recently developed at Birzeit University in an effort to contribute to the overdue process of transformation of the currently stagnant state of community mental health practices in Palestine
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