Social Change and Wellbeing (SCWB)

Critical Community and Disability Studies Research Group

RESEARCH STRAND 2: COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY

Members: Baines, Burton , Caton, Downs , Duggan, Duckett, Goodley, Kagan, Lawthom, Siddiquee, Sixsmith, Woolrych

Contact person: Carolyn Kagan

This strand brings together community psychologists who work in collaboration and partnership with a variety of local community activists. Researchers blur teaching and research commitments by actively enlisting psychology undergraduates and international postgraduate student interns to theorise and challenge marginalisation and exclusion through working with communities.

Community partners include women’s groups, refugees, young people, neighbourhood groups who work with us to tackle matters of poverty, debt, gambling, crime, community cohesion, decision making in cities and neighbourhoods.

Communities span local and intern/national contexts. Funders include HEFCE, New Deal for Communities, JRF and ESRC

PROJECT AREAS

(a) Community activism and participation
Examines processes associated with meaningful participation and productive forms of activism as documented, for example, in the experiences of women’s community engagement over time. This also encompasses evaluation of community interventions through, for example, working together with young people excluded from school to critical examine out of school projects.

Project example:
Understanding poverty and marginalisation –
ongoing concern of all strand members to connect politics, practice and theory.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Project example:
The need for witness support.

The project, funded by New Deal For Communities sought to investigate why residents in a regeneration area failed to report incidents of crime and disorder. Levels of trust and perceived safety were linked to levels of social disorganisation.
Contact Sue Caton.

Project example:
Promoting action research with excluded young people.
Project funded by Learning Skills Network was a participatory action research project that worked with young people who were excluded from schools
Contact Dan Goodley.

Project example:
Health Experiences and Access to Health Services.
Understanding the Case of Manchester’s Iraqi and Somali Asylum Seekers and Refugees funded through Manchester PCT.
Contact Rebecca Lawthom.

Research projects under development

Gambling, poverty and debt . A postdoctoral research fellow is working on building projects which examine the social context of gambling and how this affects people’s lives.
Contact Eileen Fairhurst

Marsh Farm Organisational Workshop -development of social enterprises within a New Deal regeneration programme.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

(b) University- community engagement

Researchers in this area are committed to bridging the gap between the academy and actuality of local and national communities. Projects include addressing issues of community cohesion, reflecting interest in community psychology, urban education, sport and physical activity. Other projects showcase community psychology practices and provide international linking opportunities between the UK and the States. All share a attempt to make University research(ers) address the aspirations of the community.

Project Example:
Urban regeneration: making a difference (UR-MAD) –
34 projects reflecting collaboration between four universities and community organisations.
Contact Karen Duggan

Project example:
University-Community Partnership, Social Action Research Networking Platform (UCP-SARNET)
examines the impact of websites on community development practice. It is anticipated that the project will lead to different ways of delivering and collaborating on community psychology projects.
Contact Asiya Siddiquee.

Project example:
Community participation in town and district centres
. A researcher was appointed through a large European EQUAL project housed in the Business School (the AGORA project) to develop a tool for assessing participation in decision making in town and district centres.
Contact Sue Caton.

(c) Community, work and family
RIHSC has a long history of critical work associated with this area of community psychological research. The Community, Work and Family journal has its origins in RIHSC. Not surprisingly the interconnections of these key areas continue to be explored through a number of activities including the UR-MAD project and recently completed JRF and ESRC funded studies.

Project example:
Emotional wellbeing of children in school.
Explores attempts to engage in community psychological research in ways that enhances the life chances of young people in education.
Contact Paul Duckett.

Project example:
SCCD Evaluation
- an evaluation of Changes to the website of a community development umbrella organisation on community development practice and organisational development of the host organisation.
Contact Asiya Siddiquee.

Working parents of disabled children.
This work built upon a huge body of work by the researchers in order to develop practices which support parents to balance work and family pressures.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Project example:
Parents, professionals and disabled babies
draws upon the recently completed ESRC funded project ‘Parents, professionals and disabled babies’ (http://www.shef.ac.uk/disabledbabies).
Contact Dan Goodley.

Research projects under development

Every Child Matters: disabled childhoods - Follow up of ESRC funded ‘Parents, professionals and disabled babies project’ drawing on policy changes since 1997 (ECM, Ten Year Childcare Strategy, Removing Barriers to Inclusion, Valuing People, ASBOs) focusing in a holistic way on experiences of health, social care, education and access to leisure during a period of transitions. Submit to ESRC September.
Contact Dan Goodley.