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Becoming EcologicalAn Expedition Into Community Psychology$
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James G. Kelly

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173796.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

A Contextualist Epistemology for Ecological Research

A Contextualist Epistemology for Ecological Research

(p.169) 10 A Contextualist Epistemology for Ecological Research
Becoming Ecological

G. Kelly James

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues for an Ecological approach to community psychology. The guiding force of the Ecological approach is in its commitment to Contextualism. Contextualism is the epistemological theory that knowledge is relative to a given empirical and theoretical frame of reference and that one is implicitly embedded in the world he or she observes. Contextualism acknowledges the responsibility of the observer in choosing a given frame of reference and in justifying the chosen frame of reference. Contextualism requires that one be deliberately aware of the multifaceted nature of the conditions and motivations for the expression of behavior across environmental conditions. Contextualism also requires that observers be flexible in their selection of alternative or complementary methodologies when conducting research across different environmental conditions. The Ecological approach advocates the use of alternative or complementary frameworks and methodologies when conducting community research.

Keywords:   Ecological approach, community psychology, Contextualism, epistemological theory, knowledge, behavior, environmental conditions

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