To assess the scope of analyses of social power in community psychology (CP), we examined articles published in the American Journal of Community Psychology and Journal of Community Psychology from their inception in 1973 through 2010 for reference to the concept "power." We discovered two historical points, 30 years apart, where power gained attention: early in the development of the field as it moved away from individualized notions of mental health and more recently as attention has shifted toward psycho-political considerations. Despite the belief that power has been neglected in favor of its linguistic relative, "empowerment," we found that scholarship spanned ecological levels, including individual (e.g., empowerment, referent power, and citizen participation), group (e.g., communities and organizations/institutions), and structural (e.g., macro concepts and marginalized statuses) analyses. By synthesizing scholarship on power in CP, we can provide a foundation from which to expand the field and effect social change.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology