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Critical Community Psychology


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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1 Critical community psychology in Manchester 2 Why Manchester? 3 Learning through action and action through learning 5 Action learning 7 Action research 7 Language, discourse and representation 9 What do we mean by 'critical'? 12 Orientation to the book 13 PART I: THINK! 15 2 What is critical community psychology? 17 The nature and origins of community psychology 18 Definitions 21 The emergence of community psychology in different parts of the world 24 Key themes in critical community psychology 28 Core values underpinning a critical community psychology 36 Social justice 37 Stewardship 38 Community 38 Conclusion 39 3 Core elements of a critical community psychology 41 Elements of critical community psychology 42 The ecological metaphor 42 The systems perspective 47 Multiple levels of analysis 48 The person-in-context 49 Working together 59 Prefigurative action 60 Core principles underlying a critical community psychology 62 Diversity 62 Innovation 62 Liberation 63 Commitment 63 Critical reflection 63 Humility 63 Conclusions 67 4 The contested nature of community 69 What is community? 71 Theory descriptions of community 73 Dimensions of community: Sentiment, social structure and space 74 Sentiment 74 Space 79 Social structure 81 Multi-dimensional communities 83 Social exclusion 85 Conclusions 87 5 Community as social ties 89 Social ties 90 Affection 91 Interdependence 91 Coercion 92 Theory prescriptions for community 93 Ties of affection and co-operation: Community as social capital 94 Ties of coercion: Community as ghetto 98 Social boundaries: benign or benevolent? 102 Community and social policy 103 Nature of participation 104 Conclusion 110 Critical disruption of Think! 111 Critically disrupting the challenge to individualism 111 Critically disrupting our history of community psychology 113 Resources for Part I 117 PART II: ACT! 121 6 Problem definition 123 Social issues 125 Need 126 Positionality and problem defi nition 130 Whose need? 131 Getting to know the community 132 Community audit 132 Community profi ling 133 Use of statistics 137 Observation 137 Community walks 138 Making contact and gaining entry in the community 139 Problem situations as human systems 142 Stakeholders and stakeholder analyses 151 Conclusion 154 7 Action planning 155 Decision making 156 Stakeholder analysis and action planning 160 Boundary critique: towards value-based decision making 161 Fourth generation evaluation 168 Participatory appraisal of needs and development of action 169 Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats 170 Force field analysis 171 Option appraisal 174 Compromise 175 Visioning 176 Mixing methods 178 Complex decision making: Polarity management 179 8 Action 1: Furtherance of critical consciousness and creation of new forms of social settings 183 Action for change 184 Strategies of critical community psychological action 186 Furtherance of critical consciousness (conscientisation) 186 Problematisation 188 Experiential learning 191 'Capacitation' 195 Deideologisation 197 Creation of new forms of social relations and settings 198 Multi-dimensional nature of social situations 198 Behaviour settings 200 New or alternative social settings 202 The radical nature of alternative social settings 206 9 Action 2: Development of alliances, and accompaniment, advocacy and analysis of policy 209 Making links, the development of alliances and counter systems 210 Processes of making links and working together 210 Communities of interest or communities of practice 213 Alliances and coalitions 213 Partnerships 216 Working at the ecological edge 217 Alliances, new social settings and connecting with social movements 222 Accompaniment, advocacy and analysis of policy 224 Accompaniment 224 Advocacy 228 Analysis of policy 234 Conclusions 240 Critical disruption of Act! 241 Chronic uncertainty 242 Work ethic 243 Resources for Part II 245 PART III: REFLECT! 249 10 Evaluation 251 Purpose of evaluation 252 Principles of evaluation 253 Evaluation frameworks 255 Politics of evaluation 259 What is to be evaluated? 261 'Theory of change' perspectives on evaluation 262 Realistic or realist perspectives on evaluation 263 Capacity building for evaluation 268 Participation and evaluation 270 Participation and empowerment in evaluation 271 Resistance to involvement as a barrier to participation in evaluation 274 Skills for evaluation 276 Conclusions 278 11 Change, influence and power 279 The nature of social change 280 Incremental or radical change 283 Linear and non-linear change 284 Stage approaches to change 285 Strategic change 286 Resistance to change 287 Action research as change 290 Social movements, power and ideology 291 Social influence 292 Social change tactics 294 Social power, powerlessness and empowerment 294 Taxonomy of power 295 The social structure of social power 298 Power analysis 300 12 Roles, skills and refl ections on learning for community psychologists 303 Roles for facilitating change 304 Facilitation roles 304 Educational roles 304 Representational roles 305 Technical roles 306 Skills for facilitating change 307 Interpersonal communication skills 308 Social problem solving skills 308 Organisation skills 309 Research skills 309 The context of community psychological action 310 Reflexivity as part of practice 314 Constraints on working as a community psychologist and spaces for resistance 316 Ethical issues 319 Risk 320 Power (again) 322 Prefigurative learning 323 The case for and against community psychology 323 Community psychology as oppression or liberation 325 Conclusion 327 Critical disruption of Reflect! 329 Evaluation and the audit culture 329 Auditing skills 331 Critical disruption of critical reflection 333 Resources for Part III 335 13 Critical disruption: Does critical community psychology have an adequate praxis? 337 A new context: extreme and globalised oppression 340 Rethinking the amelioration-transformation distinction 341 References 343 Index 369

About the Author

All the authors are members of the largest community psychologyteam in Europe, practising and researching community psychology andteaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in communitypsychology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Mark Burton, Visiting Professor of Health and Disabilityat Manchester Metropolitan University and Head of the ManchesterLearning Disability Partnership: I have a background in bothpsychological research and clinical psychology, and have worked forthe last 20 years in services for intellectually disabled people asa development manager, using a community psychological approach toinform this work, which is carried out by myself and by colleagueswith both psychological and non-psychological backgrounds. I havealso participated in the work of a variety of non governmentalorganisations and campaigning groups. I have taught courses onsocial theory and psychological practice, organisational and socialchange, action research and aspects of community clinicalpsychology both at postgraduate level and outside the Universitycontext. Paul Duckett, Senior Lecturer, is a communitypsychologist who works in the fields of disability, mental healthand unemployment. I work alongside disabled people including peoplewith mental health difficulties and people with learningdifficulties. I am interested in exploring ways of promotingstudent mental health and promoting the integration of a socialjustice perspective in psychological teaching, research andpractice. In addition I have published in the areas of criminal(in)justice, children's wellbeing and social critiques of war. Carolyn Kagan, Professor of Community Social Psychologyat Manchester Metropolitan University: I am a communitypsychologist with a background in social psychology, counsellingpsychology and social work. I am a founding co-editor of theinternational journal, Community, Work and Family (published byCARFAX, now Taylor and Francis). I have worked for 25 years onprojects in the community, with disabled people, their families andservices and with people living in poverty. Much of my work hasbeen action oriented, with projects extending over several years,and I have been involved with the establishment of new projects andnew forms of community organisation. I teach Community psychologyto both undergraduates and postgraduates, and have developed thefirst UK Masters programme in Community Psychology. I havesupervised and examined MSc and PhD theses in community psychologyin the UK and Australia. I convened and chaired the 1999 UKCommunity Psychology Conference in January 1999 and am a regularcontributor to UK and European community psychologyconferences. Rebecca Lawthom, Principal Lecturer. My researchinterests centre on gender and feminism, particularly in workplacesettings. I am also interested in working with other non dominantgroups, including disabled people, and in relation to socialinclusion approaches. Ihave a particular interest in the concept of'communities of practice' and am currently exploring its utility inrelation to narrative work and to different forms ofcreativity. Asiya Siddiquee, Lecturer. I am a community psychologistwith a particular interest in critical perspectives on establishedforms of both quantitative and qualitative research. My recentdoctoral work was 'A Community Psychology Approach to Investigatingthe Impact of the Internet', and as part of this I examined theimpact of the Internet on refugee women, ethnic minorities,community development workers and the health sectorI am currentlyapplying action research processes to explore issues such asmarginalisation and the use of the digital technologies, and ampart of an international community psychology virtual network. Other, newly appointed members of the team may also contributeto the book. For example Professor Dan Goodley (expertise- criticaldisability studies) and Jenny Fisher (expertise - communitydevelopment).

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