Introduction to Community Psychology
Leonard A. Jason
Jack F. O'Brien
Copyright Year: 2019
Publisher: Rebus Community
Conditions of Use
This book provides an in-depth, concise, broad-ranging view of community psychology. read more
This book provides an in-depth, concise, broad-ranging view of community psychology.
This book was accurate in the basic concepts in psychology and specifically to community psychology.
It is relevant to the current events of 2020 including police brutality, political climate, social inequity, discrimination, oppression, health inequity (related to Covid-19 pandemic) that continues to occur in the United States and worldwide. The protests that is occurring worldwide can easily be updated. The relevancy of this text is remarkable.
The text is clear, easily understandable and concepts were simplified. There are ample example given, case studies so students will understand.
Text is thoroughly consistent as it relates to the terminology and framework.
The text can be subdivided and chapters can be utilized at different times which will allow for flexibility in teaching the subject matter.
The topics are divided into chapters, each with a heading which clearly identifies learning objectives, it also includes case studies, quizzes which are online and lecture slides. All this is done in a logical and clear fashion.
The text is well formatted and easy to navigate.
The text contains no grammatical errors and it was easy to grasp.
The text is culturally sensitive; there are several chapters dedicated to culture, diversity, oppression/power and empowerment. All terminology are clearly defined.
This book is so relevant to 2020, it does a thorough review of community psychology as well as provides the processes to address the issues of racism, social inequity, economics inequities, health inequities that have plagued the United States and the world.
This is an extremely comprehensive review of the field of community psychology. Contributors were sensitive to inclusion of topics that are essential for an updated textbook in this field, specifically compiling 19 learning units that range from... read more
This is an extremely comprehensive review of the field of community psychology. Contributors were sensitive to inclusion of topics that are essential for an updated textbook in this field, specifically compiling 19 learning units that range from the history of how community psychology emerged, to development of important themes in the field, adding unique sections on tools for action and what the future of the field may hold, and wrapping up with updated information on training in the field with outside links that will remain updated with additional information for students who become excited by opportunities to further learn and explore. Each chapter is developed by a team of collaborators who are active in the field and/or leaders within their area of expertise. A particular strength of this textbook is the diversity of contributors, in all senses of the word, which is a guiding principle and value of community psychology as a field. This adds to the comprehensiveness of the textbook by allowing for important voices to be heard within the field.
Each chapter is written by a team of collaborators with particular knowledge and/or expertise in the area of focus, ending with appropriate citations to published work in the field that is appropriate for further learning. Particular attention was paid to inclusion of diverse voices from within the field. In some sections, there is room for new voices to be heard, and I believe this open textbook will be updated as these new voices emerge in the field. It is important to note that community psychology is an "action" field, such that the authors of each chapter are not just theoretical experts but also practitioners who are out in the community and learning directly from the community members with whom they are working. Therefore, there is real-world accuracy (or, "ecological validity") depicted in each unit included in this text.
I am quite impressed with the multitude and diversity of live links throughout the textbook to outside resources, content, and knowledge bases. Of course, this a particular strength to an online textbook. But in a field that is emerging and changing as quickly as community psychology, the ability to have these live links will remain a unique and highly useful advantage of this book. I expect that relevance is an area that contributors will need to keep a keen eye on for regular updating.
In a field that can be heavily rooted in theory and with theoretical frameworks, which can be particularly problematic for students of all levels to understand and apply, the authors in this textbook seem to do a very nice job in breaking down the content in meaningful ways that can be accessible to learners with diverse needs. Pictures, diagrams, and other visual content helps to aid understanding throughout the text. In addition, there are learning objectives outlined in the beginning of each chapter, critical thought questions at the end of each chapter, and various activities throughout (such as case studies, learning activities, and practical applications). There are also lecture slides and quizzes attached to each chapter to aid in understanding of content. There is a glossary in the back for technical terms, which has not been but should be linked to each presentation/definition in the text.
I have not noted any issues with consistency, which is not a particular problem overall within the field of community psychology, given the small size and general infancy of the field. As the field continues to grow, and as new voices emerge, this may be a problem that arises and needs to be addressed in the future with this open textbook.
Modularity may be a need to be addressed with newer versions of this textbook. The current chapters are not particularly long, at about 20 pages each, and chapters are divided regularly by subheadings. Certainly, in its current form, units smaller than chapters could be assigned as needed using page delineations and/or subheadings. However, there could be more focus by authors and editors on how each individual chapter may be further defined into unique learning units for those users who require module-based textbooks for a variety of reasons.
As noted above, particular attention seems to have been paid to how this textbook is organized and laid out. The textbook starts with a history of how (and why!) community psychology emerged as a field, then introduces a wide variety of common topics that have emerged across the field. Particular emphasis is placed towards the end of the textbook on future directions in the field of community psychology, as well as where readers can find additional information about training programs in the field. The book ends with a list of ways that readers can get involved in their local community.
There are a few minor problems that need to be addressed in newer versions of this textbook. While most visuals work quite well, a few figures and tables do not display properly on my computer, which is a particular challenge for any online textbook. I also recommend that definitions presented in-text be linked to their glossary entries at the end of the book. Too many links can be overwhelming for readers, but definition-glossary links seem to be a standard with online textbooks, whether open textbooks or not.
I have not yet noted any grammatical errors in the current version of this textbook.
Community psychology is a field that places high value on cultural sensitivity, and this textbook matches that overall goal. Authors and contributors make up a diverse range of experts and voices in the field, and also reflect the diversity of voices of community members with whom they work. Visuals throughout the textbook also present cultural diversity, in all aspects of meaning. While this is a goal that needs to be continuously addressed and updated, I think this current version of the textbook does a good job of presenting cultural diversity in sensitive and meaningful ways.
Community psychology is a small field. There is a small number of textbooks to choose from when teaching courses within this content. I am pleased that one of the few choices of textbooks in this field now includes an open textbook. As a community psychologist myself, I am familiar with most of the contributors in this textbook. They are experts and practitioners in the field who are committed to furthering the teaching, learning, and understanding of the field, as well as promoting new developments from within the field. I do believe this is a living document, which will need constant updating and revision. But I am quite pleased with the efforts that went into developing this textbook and the current shape it has taken.
Table of Contents
- I. Introduction
- II. Theory, Research, and Practice
- III. Understanding Communities
- IV. Intervention and Prevention Strategies
- V. Tools for Action
- VI. Our Future
- VII. Chapter Quizzes
- VIII. Chapter Lecture Slides
About the Book
This textbook will show you how to comprehensively analyze, investigate, and address escalating problems of economic inequality, violence, substance abuse, homelessness, poverty, and racism. It will provide you with perspectives and tools to partner with community members and organizations to promote a fair and equitable allocation of resources and opportunities.
About the Contributors
Jack F. O'Brien