Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change


Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change combines a focus on understanding social settings as loci for empowering intervention with a focus on understanding and giving voice to citizens. The volume illuminates advances in theory and method relevant to changing a broad spectrum of social settings (including programs, organizations, institutions, communities and social policy) from a strengths-based perspective. Three cross-cutting concepts — a strengths-based approach to research and social action, ...

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Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change combines a focus on understanding social settings as loci for empowering intervention with a focus on understanding and giving voice to citizens. The volume illuminates advances in theory and method relevant to changing a broad spectrum of social settings (including programs, organizations, institutions, communities and social policy) from a strengths-based perspective. Three cross-cutting concepts — a strengths-based approach to research and social action, empowerment, and narrative research methods — serve as integrating and foundational themes.

Part I takes up issues of setting processes and outcomes of influence, research methods, and implications for setting and community change efforts and social policy. Questions addressed in Part I include: What is the nature of current and future conceptualizations of social settings? What are the actionable features in social settings? How can settings that place a premium on empowerment and promotion be created or restructured? What are the organizational characteristics of empowering community settings? What mechanisms mediate the impact of these characteristics on individual well-being?

Part II examines how action scientists have sought to understand and amplify the voices of those individuals and communities who serve as the focus of their research and social change actions. Part II authors explore the role of institutional beliefs, community narratives, and personal stories in recovery from serious mental illness; trace the cultural contours of "mental health" among the Gros Ventres of the Fort Belknap Indian reservation; examine youth voice in the juvenile justice system, illuminating the loss of focus on individualized justice and accountability to youth; and, outline ways in which community narrative can enrich culturally anchored work in prevention and public policy. Finally, chapters in Part III seek to situate the rest of the volume's chapters in the context of decades of work on empowering settings, giving voice and social change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This landmark book brings empowerment alive in the narratives of settings and marginalized populations that push for social change. The renowned community psychologist Julian Rappaport championed empowerment, citizen-grown solutions, and a brilliant skepticism about theory, method, and context. In this volume lovingly prepared by former students, colleagues, and admirers, we are forced to think deeply about constraints against and possibilities for change in diverse domains such as youth settings, juvenile justice, prevention, mental health in an American Indian community, and recovery from mental illness. Critical commentary at every turn enriches the debate. A fitting tribute, an original and creative contribution, and a must read for all concerned with the future of societal services and human development."
Rhona S. Weinstein, Professor of the Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley

"The chapters in this volume contain the latest word in the concepts of empowerment used as the stimulus for research and community interventions, and narrative used diagnostically, as intervention and for evaluation. It also contains analytic work on these concepts and critiques of their ambiguities and limitations. The authors, former students, colleagues and friends of Julian Rappaport, have put together a volume that shows the range of efforts in community psychology that have been influenced by him. The volume is a fitting tribute to Julian who also contributes an interesting personal intellectual history."
Murray Levine, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, SUNY at Buffalo

"This volume honors the enormous contributions of Julian Rappaport's strength-based social action approach, featuring empowerment, narratives, and the mutual influence process. The contributors of this edited volume provide creative, insightful examples of how Rappaport's energizing concepts have transformed the field of Community Psychology over the past three decades." — Leonard A. Jason, Director, Center Center for Community Research, DePaul University

"Julian Rappaport's writings have been a major force in shaping the field of community psychology. This book provides a vivid description by major figures in community psychology of how Rappaport's ideas about empowerment, the use of narrative, and giving voice to marginalized individuals and groups have impacted social change in diverse settings. Those working in community settings as well as graduate students will find this book invaluable." — Ronald Roesch, Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University

"This is an enjoyable, compelling, conceptually coherent, and challenging book. While it is written by community psychologists about a community psychologist, psychologists of all fields concerned with social justice, methods, diversity, and well-being will find stimulating chapters with applicability far beyond community psychology." — Isaac Prilleltensky, PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195380576
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/3/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark S. Aber is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and past Faculty Fellow at the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on collaborative community-based intervention, contextual influences on individuals' understanding of race, racial equity in public schooling, and school racial climate. Aber earned his B.A. in psychology and philosophy from Yale University in 1981and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Virginia in 1989. He currently serves as President of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA; APA Division 27). He has served as a member of the Council of Community Psychology Program Directors, on the editorial board of the American Journal of Community Psychology.

Kenneth I. Maton is Professor of Psychology and director of the Community-Social Psychology Ph.D. Program in Human Services Psychology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. His research focuses on empowering community settings, minority youth achievement, and the community psychology of religion. Maton earned his B.A. in psychology from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois in 1985. He is past-president of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA; APA Division 27), past member of the APA Council of Representatives and of the APA Task Force on Urban Psychology. He has served on the editorial boards of American Journal of Community Psychology, Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy, and Journal of Community Psychology.

Edward Seidman is Senior Vice President, Program, at the William T. Grant Foundation and Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University. At the Foundation, he is particularly interested in facilitating higher quality theory, measurement, and intervention research on youth-serving organizations that successfully impacts practice and policy. Before coming to the Foundation, his research examined the nature and course of the positive developmental trajectories of economically at-risk urban adolescents, and how these trajectories are affected by the social contexts of family, peers, school, and neighborhood. The impact of school transitions on these developmental trajectories and its implications for primary prevention and the promotion of well-being and educational reform are of particular interest to him. He is a Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University, and previously at the Universities of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and Manitoba, as well as the Vice President and Dean, Research, Demonstration, and Policy at Bank Street College.

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Table of Contents

James G. Kelly

Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change: An Introduction
Kenneth I. Maton, Edward Seidman, and Mark S. Aber

Changing Social Settings: A Framework for Action
Edward Seidman and Vivian Tseng

Empowering Community Settings: Theory, Research and Action
Kenneth I. Maton and Anne E. Brodsky

Pursuing Paradox: The Role of Adults in Creating Empowering Settings for Youth
Reed W. Larson and Rachel M. Angus

Settings and Empowerment
Edison J. Trickett

Voices from the Ground Up: The Use of Narrative in Understanding Recovery from Serious Mental Illness
Deborah Salem

"I came to tell you of my life": Narrative expositions of "mental health" in an American Indian community
Joseph P. Gone

Tales of Terror from Juvenile Justice and Education
N. Dickon Reppucci

The Neglected Role of Community Narratives in Culturally Anchored Prevention and Public Policy
Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Maria A. Ramos Olazagasti

On Voice: Difference, Power, Change
Eric Stewart

Contradictions and Consistencies: Rappaport's Contributions to Community Psychology (1968-2007)
Irma Serrano-García

Searching for OZ: Empowerment, Crossing Boundaries, and Telling Our Story
Julian Rappaport

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