Assignment: Founding Community Psychology
Discussion 2 – Week 2
The discussion topic this week focuses on conceptual foundations of community psychology, with particular attention to ecological foundations and issues of power and injustice. Consider and respond to the following. Be sure to draw from and cite required readings as well as your own personal and professional experiences and other sources of knowledge.
Issue Post Discussion #2:
Give an example of an injustice that concerns you. Describe the potential role of community psychology for addressing the injustice. Discuss the importance of commitment and accountability in addressing injustice at personal, relational, and collective levels.
Issue main posts are due by Day 5.
Review Nelson & Prilleltensky’s (2010) guidelines for psychopolitical validity (Tables 6.1 & 6.2). Consider how your own personal experiences with power and injustice are likely to influence your sense of commitment and accountability to social change at collective, relational, and personal levels.
Any historical account (whether it involves politics, culture, or a profession) is bound to be subjective, so it makes sense that much of the history of the field of Community Psychology will also be subjective. Most existing Introductory Community Psychology textbooks (Jason, Glantsman, O’Brien, & Ramian, 2019; Kloos, Hill, Thomas, Wandersman, Elias, & Dalton, 2012; Moritsugu, Duffy, Vera, & Wong, 2019) begin by discussing the social, political, scientific, and professional contexts that influenced the development of the field. Although we will review some of this history briefly, we will focus mainly on the past 50-plus years, since the term Community Psychology was first used by those attending what we now call the “” of 1965 (Bennett et al., 1966).
One needs to consider the social and political events of the 1960s in understanding the beginnings of Community Psychology. These were turbulent times, marked with protests and demonstrations involving the Civil Rights movement in the US. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act, an important accomplishment of the Civil Rights Movement, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Feminist Movement was also developing momentum during the 1960s and into the 1970s, as would a similar rights movement for gays and lesbians, the environmental movement, and widespread protests against the Vietnam war. This socially-conscious atmosphere was ideal for the development of the field of Community Psychology, whose values emphasized social justice.