Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Era

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Michael Basseches. Basseches provided a panoramic review of his 45 years studying dialectical thinking and adult development. These questions included: How can we describe what dialectical thinking is as a form of organization? How can we describe the relationship between 1 the organization of dialectical thinking and the equilibrium it provides and 2 the organization of formal operational thinking and the equilibrium it provides? How can we recognize dialectical thinking when we see it? Her re-thinking of moral development won the Dissertation Award of the Henry A.

She can be reached at elena. Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph. Since , he has been a practitioner of Restorative Circles, a restorative practice developed in Brazil.

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In addition, Mikhail also has a long-standing interest in race and racial dynamics and writes a blog about race for Psychology Today called Between the Lines. Born in Kiev, Mikhail immigrated to the United States with his family as a child in He currently lives in Urbana, IL with his wife and two children, ages 6 and He can be reached at Lyubanskym gmail. Michael Basseches, Ph. He has practiced psy- chotherapy since Michael has also taught on the faculties of Swarthmore. He can be reached at mbasseches gmail.

Julie Oxenberg, Ph. Julie is involved in several intercultural dialogue and conflict transfor- mation procedures, including Beyond Words, an Israeli-Palestinian organization working with women in the Middle East, One by One, a Berlin-based organization working with dialogue processes between descendants of Holocaust survivors and descendants of Nazis, and the Public Conversations Project in Boston, MA. She can be reached at Julieoxenberg gmail.

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Authors Biography. Jill Astbury, Ph. Her research is informed by a gender, social determinants and human rights perspective. She is the author or co-author of more than publications including peer reviewed journals, books and book chapters. She can be reached at jill. Kenneth J. Gergen, Ph. He is President of the Board of the Taos Institute. He is also the Associate Editor of Theory and Psychology, a position in which he has also served for the American Psychologist. He is internationally known for his contributions to social constructionist theory, technology and cultural change, the self, therapy, and relational practices.

Gergen has received numerous awards for his work, including honorary degrees in both the U. He can be reached at kgergen1 swarthmore. He earned a B. His areas of expertise are social psychology, cultural psychology, political psychology and psychology of religion.

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His current projects focus on morality and torture, the. He can be reached at IHansen york. Carla D. Hunter, Ph. Daniel St. She and her students have been recognized for their scholarly contributions to the fields of African American Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Social Psychology.

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Carla also teaches a multicultural practicum in which student clinicians are supervised in integrating racial and cultural factors into their work with clients, and occasionally provides workshops on cultural competence to mental health professionals in the local community. She currently resides in bucolic Bement, IL with her fiance and their three children.

She can be reached at chunter1 illinois. Dana C. Jack, Ed. She is a feminist psychologist whose academic and writing life have been devoted to understanding and alleviating depression in women. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar to Nepal. Dana and her husband live in the Cascade mountain foothills. Dana can be reached at Dana. Jack wwu. Kit Miller, Director, M. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, S. Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY After coming to understand through meditation about violence within the human heart and mind, Kit has been learning about and organizing for nonviolence for the last 20 years.

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She works on community projects in Rochester related to restorative justice, sustainability, and race as applications of nonviolence. Kit also co-leads retreats each year in California and at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, working with activists from around the world.

She has three children and has been happily married for 21 years.

She can be reached at kmiller admin. Harry Murray, Ph. He has attempted to balance his career in academia with a commitment to periodic civil disobedience in the struggle against poverty and militarism since his first arrest at the Pentagon in the early s.

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He lives with his wife in Rochester, New York, and has two grown children. He can be reached at hmurray9 naz. Her research interests include examining the psychosocial outcomes for adolescents experiencing poly- victimization. She is a student of restorative justice and restorative practices, and is researching the evaluation of restorative programs implemented in schools, and adolescent perceptions of and experiences with restorative practices.

She can be reached at lortega2 illinois. Steven Shapiro, Ph. He oversees two community-based mental health programs that serve highly stressed, indigent children and families. This work informs his frequent trainings to describe the perils of poverty and inequality for human development.

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Steve is co-author of Climate Chaos: Your Health at Risk, the first lay book to document the health and behavioral implications of climate change. Steve provides trainings about the intersection of climate change and human behavior to motivate people to prevent the worst that climate change portends.

He can be reached at sshapiro jhmi. Kennedy School of Government. He has special expertise in posttraumatic stress disorder and resilience. He can be reached at johnwoodallmd gmail. The quintessential challenge of the global age… is to give rise to a complex and inseparable whole of unity and multiplicity… The problem… lies in the fact that thinking normatively of a whole of unity and differentiation, of global and local, requires a critical stance with respect to its existent configurations in order to reveal… its intrinsic pathologies.

Pulcini , p.

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To suggest that psychology needs to focus on our global challenge is in itself a paradox. Psychology as we have known it in the last years of its development as a science has been focused primarily on the individual, particularly in Western contexts. Even as social psychology has expanded its interests to the study of the social units and determinants of behavior, the dynamic co-creating relationship between individual and broader socio-political and economic systems has remained mostly outside the scope of psychological study.

Despite the important contributions of critical theorists Jurgen Habermas, Erick Fromm, Theodore Adorno, and many others throughout the twentieth century, broader socio-political and economic forces continue to be treated primarily as static contextual back- ground, and are yet to be systemically understood as powerful dynamic factors in processes of individual and collective psycho-social development.

Mustakova-Possardt et al. Mustakova-Possardt and J. What has happened in psychology as a discipline and a professional practice in over a decade since these early calls to recognize the rapidly changing needs of a globalizing world? A growing number of psychologists have written on the need to redefine the basic assumptions and premises of psychology in order to accommodate the exigencies of a new era May et al.


Calls to develop a psychological science of globalization continue Gelfand et al. Nonetheless the global era is upon us. The paradigmatic shift needed for psy- chology to remain relevant to how humans manage life on our planet, is over- whelming. Critical to this shift is the rethinking of the relationship between psychology and culture. The development of psychological understanding has always been embedded in particular cultural, intellectual, philosophical, and spiritual traditions.

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  • In that sense, as Pickren et al. Early psychological knowledge dates back to the very beginnings of human civilization, in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, and later Greece, India, China. Yet, in its emergence as a science in the twentieth century in Europe and North America, psychology has been so deeply embedded in the Western context of rising capitalism and individualism, that for all practical purposes it lost continuity with earlier psychologies and dedicated itself to the Western psyche. The tension between psychology and culture was recognized by pioneers of cultural psychology, such as Margaret Mead and Joseph Campbell.

    The unique genius of Russian scholar Lev Vygotsky led him to develop a more sys- temic understanding of the social formation of mind through the concept of shared goals and mental tools. His early efforts at a more dialectical vision were brought into North American psychology through the work of Cole and Scribner, Rogoff, Wertsch, Valsiner, and many others. Horizons have further expanded through evolving interests in post-modern, critical, emancipatory, and community psychology by scholars such as Michael Foucault and Jurgen Habermas; and in multi-cultural psychology through scholars including Paul Pedersen, Anthony Marsella, Fred Leong, Joseph Trimble, Guillermo Bernal, and Shinobu Kitayama.

    Since the s, ideas about culture and psychology have changed, as the dynamic and constructed nature of culture has been increasingly recognized, along with its significant influence on the way psychology is shaped Azuma ; Berry et al. Domains that Western cultures identify as psycho- logical such as thought, behavior, emotion, psychopathology have historically been explored by other cultures in the context of other disciplines, most frequently philosophy and spirituality see for example Kitayama and Cohen ; Marsella and Yamada In growing recognition of these realities, the later part of the twentieth century saw the infusion into mainstream Western and North American psychology of Eastern psycho-spiritual understanding through the work of humanistic and transpersonal psychology.

    The implications of holographic understanding have begun to open up Cartesian Western psychology to a broader metaphysic, which provides a foundation for future more inclusive understanding of the diversity of spiritual worldviews prevalent worldwide.