Psychology, Poverty, and the End of Social Exclusion: Putting Our Practice to Work

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Laura Smith argues that if there is any segment of society that should be concerned with the impact of classism and poverty, it is those within the “helping professions”—people who have built their careers around understanding and facilitating human emotional well-being. In this groundbreaking book, Smith charts the ebbs and flows of psychology’s consideration of poor clients, and then points to promising new approaches to serving poor communities that go beyond remediation, sympathy, and charity.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807751244
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2010
  • Series: Multicultural Education Series, #7
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,290,502
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Isaac Prilleltensky ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 What is Social Class" 5

Setting the Stage: Social Class and Multicultural/Social Justice Competence 6

The Silence Around Social Class 7

Approaches to Social Class Analysis 14

A Framework for Social Class 18

Social Class Membership: A Dimension of Sociocultural Identity 22

2 Classism 24

A Social Justice Framework 24

Looking at Classism Now 27

Putting It All Together: Seeing Classism Within a Social Justice Framework 31

The Implications of Seeing Classism 41

3 Poverty in Psychological Scholarship 44

Poverty Hurts People 45

Foundations of Economic Injustice in Social and Community Psychology 50

Practitioners and the Poor 56

The Causes of the Causes 63

4 In Their Own Words: Qualitative Expressions of Life in Poverty 65

Life Without the Basics 67

Chaos and Crisis 71

Stigma and Exclusion 73

Values and Hopes 77

Reflecting on These Studies 80

5 Psychotherapy and Training in the Context of Poverty: Barriers and Growing Edges 82

Exploring Classist Attitudinal Barriers to Psychotherapeutic Competence 83

Addressing Classism and Poverty Within Psychotherapy and Supervision 89

The Broader Implications of Socially Just Practice and Supervision 100

6 Beyond Psychotherapy: Transforming Mental Health Practice in the Context of Poverty 101

Another Way to Evaluate Interventions: Psychopolitical Validity 102

Transformed Psychotherapeutic Practice: Relational-Cultural Therapy and Mutuality 105

Co-Created Therapeutic Experiences 108

More Different Still: Community Praxis 114

Can You Imagine" 125

7 Parting Thoughts on Poverty, Help, Service, and Action 127

Poverty Is Social Exclusion 127

"Helping" the Poor 132

What Is Researchable Versus What Is Good 139

Advocacy for Economic Justice Is Advocacy for Psychological Well-Being 143

References 147

Index 167

About the Author 178

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