community psych. lecture

community psych. lecture - Community Psychology Greg...

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Unformatted text preview: Community Psychology Greg Townley Guest Lecturer 10-13-08 What is community psychology? Community Suggests people coming together in some shared endeavor or a least geographic proximity Psychology Traditionally focused on the individual (e.g., behavior, thoughts, development, etc) What is community psychology? Concerns the relationships of individuals with organizations, communities, and societies By integrating with research and action, CP seeks to understand and enhance quality of life for individuals, communities, and societies Guided by core values (to be discussed later) The important of context to CP Context Definition Encapsulating environments in which people live "The actual state of affairs in which people live" "CP research is the study of how context affects individuals" CP emphasizes the importance of the relationship between persons and contexts The importance of context to CP Context minimization error Fundamental attribution error Operating Assumption: Persons & Contexts Affect Each Other Examples? How? Where do we look? Homelessness Homelessness provides a good example of the context minimization error Discuss musical chairs analogy Levels of Analysis Importance of understanding phenomena from levels of analysis The interaction between individuals and the multiple social systems in which they are embedded Image: Dalton et al., 2006 Levels of Analysis Page 18 Individuals Micro Systems Organizations Localities Macro Systems Image: Dalton et al., 2006 Levels of Analysis Micro Systems -Environments where person repeatedly engages in direct, personal interaction - - More than sum of their members Sources of support or stress Setting Mediating structure Image: Dalton et al., 2006 - Levels of Analysis Organizations -Settings that have a formal structure & stature (e.g., mission, by-laws, policies) -May "host" several microsystems -May be part of larger levels of analysis -Vary in amount of resources Image: Dalton et al., 2006 Levels of Analysis Localities -"Community" -Geographic (neighborhood to county to region) -Have many organizational entities competing/ collaborating to define and address problems -History & culture are important -May host movements that transcend organizational boundaries Image: Dalton et al., 2006 Levels of Analysis Macro Systems Influence on other levels of analysis through policies, legislation, social norms Mass Media Social Movements Economics Advocacy Politics International - Globalization Image: Dalton et al., 2006 Types of Change First-order change Alters, rearranges, or replaces the individuals members of a group Changing the relationships between group members Second-order change Remember homelessness example Musical chairs as first-order change Core Values Guide research and action Seven main values Individual and family wellness Sense of community Respect for human diversity Social justice Citizen participation Collaboration and community strengths Empirical grounding Core Value: Individual and Family Wellness Wellness Physical and psychological health, including personal wellbeing and attainment of personal goals CP focus on individual and family wellness complements but goes beyond clinical psychology Types of interventions include prevention, promotion, and advocacy Collective wellness Health and wellness of communities and societies Core Value: Sense of Community Sense of community (Sarason, 1974) Refers to a perception of belongingness, interdependence, and mutual commitment that links individuals in a collective unity A basis for community and social action as well as a resource for social support and clinical work Not always positive (e.g., "insiders" vs "outsiders") Positive Sense of Community Negative sense of community "Community" What are your experiences? Fall 2008 Definitions Examples How do you belong? What choices do you have regarding participation? What Benefits do you receive? What Responsibilities/ Obligations do you have? What Costs of membership? 19 Four Elements of Sense of Community McMillan and Chavis Membership Influence Integration and fulfillment of needs Shared emotional connection Four Elements of Sense of Community Membership The sense among community members of personal investment in the community and of belonging to it Boundaries Define who is and who is not a member (e.g., geography, personal similarities, shared goals) Secure relationships members Emotional safety Four Elements of Sense of Community Membership Personal investment Often not monetary; investment of time, energy Sense of belonging and identification Common symbols Help define boundaries and identify members Four Elements of Sense of Community Influence Both the power that members exercise over the group and the reciprocal power that the group exerts on members The more cohesive the group, the greater its pressure for conformity Vertical relationships Four Elements of Sense of Community Integration and fulfillment of needs Horizontal relationships Shared values Ideals that can be pursued through community involvement Individuals participate in communities in part because their individual needs are met there Exchange of resources Four Elements of Sense of Community Shared emotional connection The definitive element for true community Deep bond; often know it when you see it or experience it Strengthened through important community experiences such as celebrations, shared rituals, etc Core Value: Respect for Human Diversity Goes far beyond political correctness To work with communities, must understand communities Appreciate the distinctive strengths in a community Culturally-anchored research methods Individualism & Collectivism Individualistic Unique identity Strong boundaries of oneself Collectivistic Extended social self Interdependence Key Dimensions of Diversity: Culture Culture: A dynamic, stable set of goals, beliefs, and attitudes shared by a group of people (Gurung, 2006) Culture can include ethnicity, race, religion, age, family values, regional identity, etc. Culture varies within groups (e.g., not all college students share the same culture) Key Dimensions: Race Quasi-Biological status Has been used as an "intellectual" basis and justification for prejudice and assumptions of racial superiority Biologically, differences between "races" are not very meaningful 99.8% of genes are shared among all people Race is important because Racism makes it so Social constructions of race "One drop" Key Dimensions: Ethnicity Social identity Based on ancestry or culture of origin and modified by the culture in which one currently lives Physical appearance can vary greatly within ethnic groups Ethnicity is not simply nationality Ethnicity often involves an interaction, is contextually situated (e.g., Chinese American) How can this interaction be helpful or challenging? Key Dimensions: Gender Refers to how differences between males and females are interpreted and reflected Not simply a demographic category Represents important psychological and social processes Key Dimensions: Sexual Orientation A spectrum with intermediate points Exclusively heterosexual Exclusively homosexual Due to societal stigma, outward behaviors/ appearance are often not reflective of orientation Sexual orientation is distinct from gender identity or gender role Key Dimensions: SES/ Social Class May be defined in terms of income or material assets, or as occupational and educational status It matters how you define it SES typically marks differences in power It can influence Educational opportunities Living environment/ basic needs Psychological well-being Key Dimensions: Ability/ Disability Most people will experience either physical or mental disability at some time in life Disability can pose challenges Stigma Self-stigma and societal stigma Lack of opportunities Physical and psychological barrier Exclusion Key Dimensions: Age As people grow older, there are differences in psychological concerns, developmental transitions, and community involvement Privileges and discrimination can be associated with older age Key Dimensions: Localities Types of localities Urban vs. rural Suburban housing vs. city housing Gated communities vs. public assistance housing Place matters, types of localities can impact: Personal well-being (e.g., mental or physical health outcomes) Community action (e.g., citizens combating neighborhood crime) 37 Key Dimensions: Spirituality and religion Institutions can have a large impact on communities e.g., fostering a sense of community, playing a role in community development and change Spirituality and religion are often closely related with culture and ethnicity Important reminders Spiritual traditions are usually multicultural Cultural groups contain multiple spiritual/ religious communities Core Value: Social Justice Social justice Fair, equitable allocation of resources, opportunities, and power in a society as a whole Distributive justice Concerns the allocation of resources Procedural justice Concerns whether processes of collective decision making include a fair representation of citizens Must balance with other values Core Value: Citizen Participation Refers to democratic processes of making decisions that allow all members of a community to have meaningful involvement in the decision, especially those who are directly affected Does not always lead to "better" decisions, especially if citizens are looking out for only themselves Core Value: Collaboration and Community Strengths CP works to establish collaborative relationships that stay away from the typical roles of expert (psychologist) and layperson (community member) Core Value: Empirical Grounding Values the integration of research into community action Makes community action more effective and more valid Quantitative and qualitative methods NOT VALUE-FREE What do CP do? Prevention Substance abuse, school drop out, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, HIV, homelessness Health Promotion / Human Development Head Start, healthy diet, positive youth development, positive parenting, conflict resolution Empowerment Citizen participation, community organizing What do CP do? Program Development Program Evaluation Social Policy Consulting Non-profit agencies Government Coordinate/ Facilitate Coalitions Create Alternative Settings Where do CP work? City, County, State & Federal Agencies LRDAC,SC-DHEC, SC-DMH, SC-DSS, CDC, NIH Services, Advocacy, Think Tanks Evaluation, Programs, Grants Community organizers, community development Teaching & Research Non-profit agencies Consultation Firms Social entrepreneurs Academic ...
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