Community Psychology, the Church and Theological Perspectives: Introduction to the Special Issue

Volume
Volume 39
Issue
Fall 2011
Title
Community Psychology, the Church and Theological Perspectives: Introduction to the Special Issue
Abstract

The indisputable focus in psychology in the past century has been the scientific study of the individual. Individualism in American culture has perforce shaped American psychology in the scope of its scholarly concern, its methodology and therapeutic goals. Alexis de’Tocqueville (1835/2003) was the first to comment on American individualism with a long train of interpreters there after. Rieff (1966) critiqued psychoanalysis for lacking a commitment to ethical culture that contains the autonomous individual. Bellah (1985) lamented the loss of covenant with increasing individualism in American society. It was Cushman (1995) who detailed psychology’s dependence on American individualism. Community psychology emerged as a discipline in response to this social context, particularly the individual medical model of mental illness. The field officially had its beginnings at the 1965 Swampscott conference, where social scientists developed a form of psychology that emphasized prevention, multiple levels of analysis, and change at systemic levels, rather than focusing on individuals as responsible for their condition (Dalton, Elias & Wandersman, 2006; see Todd, 2011, in this issue for a more detailed
account of the historical development of community psychology). This form of psychology studies the process through which an individual’s context and community shape their development in positive and negative ways at the same time that it examines how individuals shape the systems around them.

Authors
Dr. K.M. Putnam and Dr. A. Dueck
Pages
183 - 185
Price
Add to Cart $5.00