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Psychology - Community Psychology | Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era (Reviews)

Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era

Mustakova-Possardt, E., Lyubansky, M., Basseches, M., Oxenberg, J. (Eds.)

2014, XXI, 289 p. 5 illus.

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"Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era is a foray into an important and neglected territory. The authors are to be commended for their passion and dedication in bringing to bear the immense resources of Western psychology to attempt to lessen human degradation, enrich the world, and increase human dignity and freedom. ...This book will be of interest to all mental health professionals, students, and professors in the social sciences and laypeople concerned with the plight of our world in a challenging age. We should read it not as the final world on a complex topic but as part of an ongoing crucial conversation that we all need to participate in, deepen, and expand so that we can cocreate a more sustainable world and a viable future."
Jeffrey B. Rubin, PsycCRITIQUES
February 24, 2014, Vol. 59, No. 8, Article 1

"This scholarly treatment of profoundly human issues is a breath of fresh air. Although framed as an edited collection of independent essays, the book is obviously much more collaborative than is typical for a collection of scholarly articles organized around a theme. Many of the essays are co-authored by scholars who contribute to several pieces in the collection. The careful editorial work also contributes to this overall sense of a true conversation about critical topics. This provides a sense of continuity and real thematic organization that is unusual in scholarly collections. Having spent over thirty years reading scholarly collections of articles, most of which have the feeling of listening to a crowd of people having separate conversations on a subway--the same subway car being the theme--this collection offers a refreshing change. The contributors to the volume represent many strands of scholarly work and clinical practice in psychology. This integration of knowledge, practical wisdom, spiritually-informed reflection, and hands-on engagement in service to communities expresses the spirit of the "socially-responsible" in the title of this book.

TOWARD A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PSYCHOLOGY FOR A GLOBAL ERA ALSO presents a much-needed integration of many dimensions in the human experience, which is lacking in many contemporary approaches to psychology. Arguing against fragmented models of the individualistic self, the authors in this work seek to illumine the profound extent to which individual health and global well-being are profoundly connected.

The book essentially offers a perspective on psychology that makes sense to a person, such as myself, who is not a psychologist by training. That we live in a global era is now beyond any reasonable denial. This globalization demands an disciplinary, collaborative, and cross-cultural analysis that takes into account a variety of phenomena that have no borders. Pressing global concerns, including intergroup conflict; rapid societal transformation, urbanization, and national development; threats to the natural environment; physical and mental health needs; the status of women; and the struggles of disempowered groups have profound psychological dimensions. Yet, much of contemporary discourse and analysis either completely ignores these psychological dimensions, or approaches them without reference to the complex interplay of culture, economics, history, politics, and religion; in other words, a multidisciplinary and transnational perspective. This book offers a welcome addition to the quest to understand the real psychological complexities of globalization and to explore the roots of socially-responsible behavior in our global era."

William R. Johnson, September 25, 2013

 

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