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The efforts of social activists and mental health professionals to institute population-level social change, such as reducing poverty, building better schools, and establishing more effective substance abuse programs, often fail. They tend to focus on individuals and not real-life community conditions; they fail to take into account stakeholders' efforts to maintain the status " and they do not develop concrete strategies to build coalitions to alter policies. These unsuccessful attempts at change can leave citizens, community groups, and healthcare professionals feeling dispirited and overwhelmed. Principles of Social Changeis written for those who are impassioned and driven by social justice issues in their communities and seek practical solutions. Leonard A. Jason, a leading community psychologist, demonstrates how social change can be accomplished and fostered by observing five key principles: (1) determine the nature of the change desired, (2) identify who holds the power, (3) create coalitions, (4) be patient but persistent, and (5) measure your success. Describing these principles through first-hand accounts of the experiences of people who have worked on a range of social justice issues, Jason gives unique insight and presents a comprehensive approach toward the development of social and community interventions, such as protecting the well-being of children, providing affordable housing, combating abuses of power, and cleaning up the environment.Principles of SocialChangeprovides answers about what citizens and community action groups can do in collaboration with healthcare professionals to address these seemingly intractable problems. It is essential reading for community psychologists, social activists, policy makers, and students and trainees in these fields.
Leonard A. Jason, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Community Research at DePaul University. Dr. Jason has investigated topics such as the prevention of alcohol and substance use disorders within recovery homes, youth tobacco prevention programs, school-based preventive interventions, and the prevalence and treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. He has received more than $26 million in federal grants and published 575 articles, 77 book chapters, and 23 books.
Table of Contents
Foreword by William L. White
Chapter 1.....................Changing the Rules of the Game
Chapter 2.....................Challenging the Status Quo
Chapter 3.....................Navigating the Maze
Chapter 4.....................Creating Communities to Foster Success
Chapter 5.....................Means to an End
Chapter 6.....................The Root of the Issue
About the Author