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Psychology - Community Psychology | Peace Psychology in Australia

Peace Psychology in Australia

Bretherton, Diane, Balvin, Nikola (Eds.)

2012, XXVI, 358 p.

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  • Addresses international relations and changes in the configuration of geopolitical power
  • Situates social relations and conflicts within Australian history to current issues in the country and to other nations
  • Contributors feature international pairing of seasoned scholars with early career peace psychologists, facilitating a dynamic dialogue in the field

As the world’s largest island and the only country that is also a continent, Australia holds a unique place among nations. At the same time, given its history of colonialism, racial oppression, and reconciliation attempts, the island also stands as a microcosm of global interest in peacebuilding. Peace Psychology in Australia shows peace efforts making inroads as this large, diverse country undergoes rapid social change. 

The book brings into focus the history of relations between Indigenous peoples and the descendents of British and other settlers, the experiences of recent immigrants, and the perspectives of peace professionals on how to achieve a more cooperative and less fragmented society. Chapters identify key factors in successful integration, analyzing the intricate balance between valuing diversity and promoting common bonds, values, and identity. The range of historical and contemporary issues featured includes the country’s hidden history of structural inequity, the rich tradition of Indigenous methods of resolving conflicts, and Australia’s unique possibilities for social justice. And peace psychologists are shown in context, whether advocating for asylum seekers or working with men’s groups to rethink the long-prevailing culture of male domination. Included in this important volume:  

  • Immigration and Australian national identity.
  • Encouraging respect for diversity in the schools.
  • Community development in Indigenous empowerment.
  • Stereotypes: hidden obstacles to reconciliation.
  • Peace objectives in the era of climate change.
  • Practical and research challenges for the future. 

For peace psychologists, political scientists, and policymakers, Peace Psychology in Australia offers real-world lessons that can benefit people worldwide, and a foundation for peace work to come.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » New Zealand - colonial aphasia - geo-historical context - indigenous and settler relationships - mediation effectiveness - peace - peace psychology

Related subjects » Community Psychology - Political Science

Table of contents 

Introduction.- Part I. The geohistorical context of peace psychology in Australia.- An overview of traditional forms of Indigenous conflict resolution and peace in Australia.- Indigenous and "settler" relationships, episodic, and structural violence.- Immigration, multiculturalism and the changing face of Australia.- A history of "Psychologists for Peace" in Australia.- National identity, Australian values and outsiders.- Part II. Contemporary issues.- Attitudes towards asylum seekers: The Australian experience.- Battling boatloads of prejudice: An interdisciplinary approach to activism with asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.- Enhancing relationships in school communities: Promoting cooperative conflict resolution and respect for cultural diversity in schools.- Constructing masculinity: Understanding the connection between masculinity and violence.- Having your say: Communication dynamics in effective mediation.- Hidden obstacles to reconciliation in Australia: the persistence of stereotypes.- On the promotion of positive peace for Indigenous Australians: ideas from across the Tasman.- Australian peace psychologists at work: from theory to practice.- Critical theory, community psychology, and community development in Indigenous empowerment.- Part III. Future directions.- Australia's relationship with the land: reckoning with climate chanage.- A peacebuilding paradigm for peace psychology.- A research agenda for the future: new challenges for Peace Psychology in Australia.- Conclusion: peace psychology concepts for the future.

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