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Principles of Social Change$
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Leonard A. Jason

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199841851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199841851.001.0001

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Creating Communities to Foster Success

Creating Communities to Foster Success

(p.81) 4Creating Communities to Foster Success
Principles of Social Change

Leonard A. Jason

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 focuses on the patience and persistence that is needed for large-scale changes. Focusing on small triumphs is imperative: it renews dedication to one’s efforts and celebrates even incremental progress, through which, in most cases, success is achieved. Throughout history, transformational change has rarely occurred in one fell swoop—and change agents must recognize this. While a passion and empathy for those afflicted can be a sustaining motivation for supporters of a community change, activists sometimes neglect the need for a supportive host setting. I chronicle a 36-year-long effort to create a place that was specifically designed for the purpose of providing the time, resources, and coalitions that are needed to bring about social and community change. In this case, small wins meant the slow but steady creation of a human services program, a community psychology track within a university, as well as a center for community research. To be sure, academic settings are not the only resource of community change agents, but we argue that activists need to have a setting that supports a focus on long-term change. Chapter 4 describes the important field of community psychology. The principles and interventions in this chapter were developed in this field. Community psychology is fundamentally rooted in listening and giving a voice to patients. These practices are broadly relevant to patient activism communities.

Keywords:   Community Psychology, Center for Community Research, Social Change, Small Wins, Long-term Commitment

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