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Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change$
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Mark S. Aber, Kenneth I. Maton, and Edward Seidman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380576.001.0001

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Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change: An Introduction

Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change: An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change: An Introduction
Empowering Settings and Voices for Social Change

Kenneth I. Maton

Edward Seidman

Mark S. Aber

Oxford University Press

Empowerment is central to any effort by researchers, community practitioners, or policymakers for bringing about meaningful social change related to marginalized individuals and groups. It is invaluable as a guiding paradigm because it points both to a process of social change (citizen-based) and an outcome of such change (enhanced access to critical resources) for those lacking power in society. The process of empowerment is participatory and developmental—occurring over time, involving active and sustained engagement, and resulting in growth in awareness and capacity. Many different aspects of empowerment as a process and as an outcome have implications for the work of social scientists interested in enduring social change. This book focuses on two aspects: developing new empowering settings in the community and enhancing the influence of existing ones, and using research methods that seek to hear, understand, support, and amplify the voices of those individuals and groups in the community. This introductory chapter briefly discusses each of these. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   empowerment, empowering settings, social change, marginalized groups, marginalized individuals

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