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Community Power and Empowerment

Author: Brian D. Christens

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190671761

Category: Psychology

Page: 352

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Many people want to help bring about changes in their neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities. Leaders and scholars of change efforts are likewise eager for insights into what makes some organizations and coalitions capable of building and exercising power. Why are some groups successful in making changes in policies and systems and in sustaining their momentum over time, while others struggle or never really get off the ground? With Community Power and Empowerment, Brian D. Christens brings the most comprehensive analysis of empowerment theory yet conducted to bear on these questions, taking aim at many of the longstanding weaknesses and ambiguities of empowerment theory, research, and practice. For example, one major hindrance is that most notions of empowerment have not been coherently connected with community power. In addition, research has emphasized psychological aspects of empowerment over organizational processes, and has neglected community empowerment processes to an even greater extent. By linking empowerment and community power, Christens constructs a holistic framework for assessing and comparing community-driven change efforts. This book offers new guidance for inquiries into outcomes and impacts of empowerment processes on health and well-being, providing a resource for researchers, organizational leaders, practitioners, and anyone interested in collective action for change.
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