CSE 2018 Psychology: Q &A

CSE 2018.Q1(e). In what specific ways,  can psychologists work for empowering the communities that have been marginalized by the society?
Model answer outline:
Community psychology aims at optimising the growth and development of all the communities of a society. In this context,  community psychologists especially focus on the relatively weaker communities that are marginalized.  Mushar community in Bihar,  tribal communities in Jhabua- Madhya Pradesh  could be a few such communities.
A community psychologist approaches a community like a researcher. He/she collects data from the target community and tries to analyse the inertias that keep blocking the development of the community. For example, illiteracy, landlessness are some of the major inertia of the Mushar community in Bihar.
After discovering the root causes of marginalisation,  community psychologist would focus on the working out solution of the problem. For this, he would focus both on the internal and external forces of change.
Internal forces include “change agents ‘ who are educated and motivated for the changes. They, in turn, create several other change agents by spreading the awareness and reasons for change. Externally,If required, a community psychologist approaches the government for policy formulation and legislation so that change could be facilitated. The landless mushar community has been allocated land and resources in Bihar on such suggestions by the district collectors ( in India, such official work as community psychologists).
Motivationally,  as we know participation creates social motivation. Mahatma Gandhi used this formula ( Jan-Bhagidari) in civil disobedience movement.  A community psychologist uses several formula of such kinds to educate & motivate community members for development. Side by side he tries eradicate social evil like alcoholism from the community that often creates hurdles on the path to development.
Empowerment is a multidimensional process. Different communities are marginalized due to different reasons. Some are backward primarily due to economic reasons whereas others are marginalized mainly due to social reason like caste-untouchability. Empowerment thus requires a customised approach and community psychologists play major roles in this process.
Arun kumar
Mentor,  Beautiful Mind- IAS