Botha M (2021) Critical realism, community psychology, and the curious case of autism: A philosophy and practice of science with social justice in mind. Journal of Community Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.22764
Community psychology (CP) is a transformative subdiscipline of psychology which aims to address inequality and social injustice and to attend to wellbeing. It has been argued that CP lacks an underpinning philosophy of science. Philosophies of science provide road maps for values, methods, and objectives, thus ultimately framing all research. This study will highlight how traditional philosophies of science such as positivism, interpretivism, and social constructivism fail to support the complexity of CP and often essentialise complex phenomena, such as autism, to the detriment of stakeholders. Critical realism will then be introduced as a promising philosophy of science for CP, which can reinvigorate CPs push for impactful research and social change. The study will highlight how CP provides a platform for appreciating the complexity of autism and for transforming structures of inequality experienced by autistic people, together with autistic people.
autism; community psychology; critical realism; philosophy of science; social action
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
Journal of Community Psychology