Community Psychology (PGS 365)
Today's communities are no longer uniformly bound by streets, rivers, ravines or highways.
Our modern day communities are increasingly dispersed throughout the country and the world.
All human beings are, first of all, social beings. Each of us has a need to belong; each of us wants to have a sense of belonging. This is where community comes into play. Traditionally, community has been understood as locality, or place, such as a neighborhood. Today communities cross those boundaries. Informational technology brought a new meaning to relational interactions, and besides of being members of our local communities, we become also citizens of a global community.
Community psychology concerns the relationship of the individual to communities and society. Many people representing a variety of professional groups today believe that solutions for most of the social problems are not in governmental projects or new bills, but in strong communities. Community psychology is not only committed to the development of psychologically valid knowledge, but also to making that knowledge useful in community life. Community psychologist's role has often been described as that of a participant-conceptualizer, actively involved in community processes, while also attempting to understand and explain them.
During the semester you will have an opportunity to learn how communities can assist those groups that traditionally have been oppressed, and in different parts of the word still are.
Topics covered by the course:
- Millennium Development Goals;
- Global Community: Resources for Networking;
- Faith Communities;
- Introduction to Community Psychology;'
- Participatory Action Research;
- Social Justice;
- Empowerment and Resilience ;
- Domestic Violence;
- Child Abuse:
- LGBT Community;
- Needs of Senior Citizens;
- Immigrants and Community;
Local issues require citizens' participation, but local issues are more and more impacted by the problems that need to be resolved on a global level. Global issues require multicultural dialogue and research in order to produce effective solution. One of the objectives of this course is to make each of you a partner in such dialogue.
Most of class materials for our course are based on University-Community Partnership for Social Action Research network (UCP-SARnet) and while reading this text you are already on UCP-SARnet's territory. At the beginning of the semester you will be expected to register as members of this network. If at the end of the semester you decide that you are not interested in community issues or international collaboration, you may remove your membership. We hope, however, that this course will not only empower you to consider a leadership role in your local community, but also to remain an active member of global community.
Making decision to take Community Psychology course please be prepared that it will require your attention, intellectual and emotional involvement, as well as time commitment. Moreover, only if those conditions are met, you and other students will really benefit from this educational experience.