PSY482 - Critical Community Psychology

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Jan 21, 2020 3:34:42 PM
Last review date Jan 21, 2020 3:34:42 PM

Subject Title
Critical Community Psychology

Subject Description
This course will examine various topics related to community psychology, including theories and research, prevention, early intervention, community mental health, the community practitioner as a social change agent, and applications of community psychology to various settings and situations.  An aim of community psychology is to draw upon the resources of the community to develop solutions to resolve or prevent problems.  This course will introduce students to tools of participatory action to effect change.

This course is an introduction to a very complex subject and discipline: critical community psychology (CCP). The discipline and practice of CCP has so much to offer community health workers as they not only work to improve health outcomes with individuals and communities, but also transform the systemic and epistemic forces that cause, influence, perpetuate, and maintain inequality and marginalization of individuals and communities. As an introduction, this course only offers a glimpse into the complexity of this field. The course is organized into four domains: 1) a sample of its theoretical origins and a sample of the work of these theorists, 2) the principles and domains of CCP, 3) practical approaches to group and community practice, and finally, 4) participatory fieldwork and research.  As a blend of theory and practice as well as critical self-reflection, this course is a praxis-based course that will demonstrate a dialogue-based approach to learning, engaging students as teachers in a reciprocal learning relationship with the instructor and their colleagues.

Credit Status
One credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Compare various theoretical approaches of community psychology to place it within the broader context of psychology.
  2. Analyze community systems, groups and organizations from a psychological perspective to determine a map of resources and key players.
  3. Develop strategies for achieving change in community systems that empower its members.
  4. Identify the context and constraints that surround working in the community to plan effective intervention.
  5. Analyze a local case study to understand the role of community psychology as a means of social change.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.