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[Xmca-l] Community Psychology and Context

So many articles have been suggested for reading deeper into the issues
raised by Cliff and Roland that I fear people might get buried under the
load. To short circuit a lot. Here are a couple of key passages from
forwarded sources that seem to highlight the core issues
C&R are concerned with. The first is from that annual review article on
community psych. It seems to make a lot of connections between culture,
community psychology, and long standing chat-related turns. It makes the
centrality of the term, context, to the field of community psych in a way
that seems to resonate with recent writings that involve community-based
research appearing in MCA.  And with the discussion about con- text

>From its “official” origin in 1965 (Bennett et al. 1966), community
psychology has been guided by the dual objectives of understanding people
in context and attempting to change those  aspects of the community that
pollute the possibilities for local citizens to control their own lives and
improve their community. An ecological perspective, directing attention to
the social and cultural contexts of communities and the community life of
individuals, has been central to both the research and action arms of this

agenda (Kelly 1968).

Conceptually, the ecological perspective

provides a framework for understanding people

in community context and the community

context itself. It adopts a coping and adaptation

perspective on individual behavior in community

context and assumes that people are

agentic and not passive responders to their environments.

As such, attention is directed to

the transactions between individuals with varied

cultural histories, skills, resources, and personal

predicaments and the opportunities, resources,

and constraints of the social contexts of relevance

to them. The ecological perspective also

explicitly asserts the adaptive value of diversity

in the kinds of behaviors individuals select in

their efforts to survive and indeed thrive. The

adaptive value of individual behavior is thus assessed

only in the context in which it arises as

a means of coping. No one kind of adaptive

behavior fits all.


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch