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African American Psychology Exam 1
Terms in this set (36)
1960s; Study of black-folk through a lens
if you want to understand black life you have to look at them through an African lens.
a paradigm based on the idea that African people should re-assert a sense of agency in order to achieve sanity. During the l960s a group of African American intellectuals in the newly-formed Black Studies departments at universities began to formulate novel ways of analyzing information
Holistic conception of the human condition; The basic human unit is the tribe, not the individual; People are linked in geographical and temporal frame by the oral tradition, with messages being transmitted across time and space by word of mouth or drum; Time is marked off by a series of events that have been shared with others in the past or are occurring in the present; Time is also considered to be repetitive - the major events used to designate points in time such as: conception, birth, the naming ceremony, puberty, and marriage, repeat themselves throughout the life cycle.
What are the purposes of Black Psychology?
Critique and reject white psychology (American Psychological Association) and resist historic oppression; Provide an African Centered perspective; To awaken the consciousness of African people as to achieve healing and well-being; Promote values and a lifestyle that support health and well being for the African American community; develop policies that support the well being of the African American community; develop "mental health" practices that support the well being of African American; develop an internal support system for students and professionals of the field
Origins of Black Psychology
Some concepts in Black psychology can be found in Ancient Africa i.e. Ka and Ba and others are a response to modern day oppression- white supremacy and racism
As a formal discipline it emerged as a tool for African Americans to resist oppression, create freedom and provide healing
In 1960, Afro Americans psychologist made an concerted effort to create a platform- to address issues facing Black practitioners and the community
In 1968, ABPsi was established as a national organization- the membership pledged to be committed to the Black community 1st and psychology 2nd
What are the schools of thought in Black psychology?
Traditional School; Reform School; Radical School
This school is defined by:
1) its defensive and/ or reactive posture
2) its lack of concern for the development of Black psychology
3) its concern with changing the attitudes of Europeans
The reformist school represents evolution. It maintains some of the concern for European attitudes, but focuses more on policy changes in the field of psychology.
The radical school makes no appeal to whites and directs their attention to Black people in terms of treatment and growth. Moreover, they insist on and are focused on developing a psychology that's rooted in the African worldview.
Greer & Cobbs
They are part of the Traditional School. Their work concerns with whites knowing what they're doing to Blacks in order to change their attitudes and behaviors. They explained Black rage and set out to explain its origins and expressions to white people. They also developed the "Black Norm" which includes: Blacks' understandable and necessary cultural paranoia; their cultural depression & cultural masochism rising out of sadness and intimacy with misery; cultural anti-socialism.
He is part of the Reformist School. He is one of the founders and first co-chairpersons of the ABP and was instrumental in shaping the early moves of Black psychology from the negatives of the traditional school. He and others were a bridge between the traditional and radical schools. He believed that it was the ethical responsibility of social scientists to change the conditions of black people. He argued the significance of Ethnocentrism as a factor of a person's mental health - a person's search for identity. He was concerned about the damage done by white or other social scientists who have confused knowledge about a people with knowledge of a people. Thomas also posed the deficient-deficit model as a major problem of Black psychology as well as for Blacks in terms of its implications for public policy and self-actualization.
The first and only Black person to be president of the APA. He is part of the Traditional School. His main focus was on the damaging effects of segregation by the U.S. Supreme Court. He argues that racial segregation, like all other forms of cruelty and tyranny, debases all human beings - those who are victims, those who victimize, and in quite subtle ways those who are mere accessories. He criticizes the social scientists who preoccupation with trivia, leads to the irrelevance of much social science research and who have detached professionalism which in reality becomes false objectivity and masked insensitivity.
He is part of the traditional school of thought. his focus was Black Power, Black suicide, Black sexuality, and suggestions to white parents on how to raise their children free of prejudice. He criticized the racial and socioeconomic bias of traditional white psychiatry and showed sensitivity to Black suspicion of its concept and practice and their tendency to label it the white man's psychology. He argues for more understanding of special cultural adaptions or interests of black people if white psychiatrists are to be effective clinicians. He listed off reasons for crime and violence among black people: the American cultural experience that teaches crime and violence as a way to success and manhood; the fact that Americans respect violence and often will not respond to just demands expect through violence; the sense of power that violence gives the oppressed; and dehumanizing transformation in incarceration which perpetuates the cycle of violence.
He is part of the Reformist School of Thought. He is one of the authors of our class book - the psychology of blacks. His contentions is that a Black frame of reference is necessary which will enable Black psychologists and others to come up with more accurate and comprehensive explanations for Black life as well as enable them to build the kind of programs within the Black world which capitalize on the strength of Black people. He also argues that not all traditional white psychology theory is useless and the existentialists' stress on pain and struggle as unavoidable and the self-theorists' stress on understanding one's experiential background to understand a person are examples of useful theories. He says the need in building a Black psychology is to incorporate what is useful and reject the rest and suggests the value of Black/White dialogue and exchange in encounter groups, suggesting they give whites a better chance to experience Blackness outside the protective group setting.
Issues impacting Black family
Slavery; Reconstruction; Migration; Great Depression; Race Riots; Crack; Welfare; Gentrification; Miseducation; Racism
What are the affects of historic oppression and social inequalities on the African American Family?
Poverty (of Spirit; of Affirmation; of Opportunity; of Hope and Optimism); the female-headed family unit and the degree to which men are involved in the lives of their children; the relationship dynamics that influence marriage, separation, and divorce rates among African Americans; the impact of teenage pregnancy on the lives of African American youth; the parenting style of both men and women and how these struggle with ways to balance children's needs for love, approval, validation, and indulgence with needs for structure, critical feedback, discipline and deprivation; the challenge of African American affluence and the necessity to balance needs to work and struggle to maintain one lifestyle, with those needs of younger family members whose developmental spaces require more "lap time," as opposed to money to purchase the latest technological device or gadget.
Poverty of Spirit
Exists when the conditions in a person's life help to instigate decreases in both psychic and behavioral energy, where it becomes difficult to muster the initiative, drive, and determination to address family issues
Poverty of Affirmation
Exists when life circumstances and personal interactions with people provide no validation, support, or encouragement an individual or their family members need to carry on life's daily functions, or to navigate their way through life's challenges
Poverty of Opportunity
Occurs when individuals and their family members see the doors to legitimate opportunities to achieve personal and collective goals closed and/or otherwise non-existent
Poverty of Hope & Optimism
Occurs when one's perspective on the present and future is clouded by seeds of doubt that things in one's life can and will get better or that one has the ability to effect the changes they would like to see happen for themselves or their family members
Frazier asserted among other things that African cultures had not survived their violent contact with Western cultures, that centuries long aftermath of that violent collision with the lethal combination of Western avarice, commerce, and human indifference that spawned the American system of slavery and stripped Africans of all vestiges of African culture. He continued to argue that the African American was a unique, singular, American creation forged in the crucible of the enslavement experience.
Herskovits asserted that there were indeed West African cultural retention and cultural patterns that had not only survived slavery but could also be directly linked to West African cultures, and that many of these Africanisms were still vital and vibrant part of African American culture.
What social/political event framed the Herskovits-Frazier Debate?
Civil Rights Movement! Herskovits was free to argue for an African-American cultural distinctiveness in a way that was not true for Frazier. For Frazier, as an African American, a staunch civil rights activist, and a pragmatist, there was much more at stake than a scholarly debate. That is, the pragmatic strategy for Frazier as an African-American scholar was to focus on a narrative of cultural assimilation rather than one of cultural differentiation-to emphasize the prosaic Americaness of African Americans. Thus, Frazier's focus on the Americaness of African Americans fits well into prevailing civil rights narrative on racial acceptance, assimilation, and equality.
What are the differences between Western Psychology and Black Psychology?
Western Psychology is constructed from the words psyche (meaning mind) and ology (meaning knowledge or study of) and is generally assumed to be a study of human behavior. The "normal" is white middle class person and others are held to that standard - if they do not meet it they are considered "abnormal" or "unhealthy"
Black Psychology revolves around the development of a discipline which not only studies the behavior of black persons, but seeks to transform them into self-conscious agents of their own mental and political liberation.
How does Racism affects one's identity?
Nigrescence- Racial Identity Model
The Nigrescence model (a word with Latin and French roots, meaning to become Black) provides a process by which Blacks become aware of being Black in America- racial awareness.
Nigrescence Stage 1: Pre-Encounter
In this stage, an individual view them self through a white frame, meaning more oriented toward white culture; They think, act and behave in a way that devalue and/or deny their Blackness- not overtly; Doesn't acknowledge historical oppression; Making negative generalizations about Black Americans as though they aren't apart of the group; Interacting and engaging in relationships with primarily Europeans; Relating with European American culture while discounting Black American culture
Nigrescence Stage 2: Dissonance
In this stage, an individual experiences an event or series of events, that shatters their perception of self or the conditions of Blacks; Begins to explore Black identity... through readings, etc.; Questions previous thoughts about Blacks and whites.
Nigrescence Stage 3: Immersion-Emersion
Individuals develops a new way of thinking and a new identity that incorporates being Black; Immerse self in Black culture while withdrawing from all other groups (comfort); Everything that holds value is connected to Blackness or Black people; Dichotomous thinking is used (but levels off)
Nigrescence Stage 4: Internalization
An individual achieves a sense of inner security and self confidence with his or her Blackness (internalize of new identity); Calm and Secure demeanor (healthier self); Decline of strong anti white feelings; Individual might ascribe to both Black nationalism and diversity
Nigrescence Stage 5: Internalization-Commitment
In this stage, an individual embodies all of the characteristics from the internalization phase, while being committed to the liberation of all oppressed people.
Multidimensional- Racial Identity Model
This model builds on symbolic interactionism through four primary dimensions of racial identity: salience, centrality, ideology and regard.
Multidimensional Racial Identity Model: Salience
The extent to which individuals emphasize race as an important dimension of their self concept.
Multidimensional Racial Identity Model: Centrality
Refers to the extent that race is the core to an individual's self concept how he or she defines self.
Multidimensional Racial Identity Model: Ideology
Refers to four different beliefs and attitudes:
Nationalist- emphasizes the importance of being African descent
Oppressed Minority- focuses on oppression and commonalities with other oppressed people
Assimilationist- emphasizes the commonalities between Blacks and the rest of American society
Humanist- focuses on commonalities of all human
Multidimensional Racial Identity Model: Regard
Reflects how an individuals feels about group membership and sense of others evaluation and feelings about the group.
What is the importance of African American Identity?
The African Identity serves 3 functions:
1. It provides a social anchor and meaning to one's existence; 2. It serves as a connection to the broader African community across the globe; 3. It serves as a protection or buffer against the social forces that continually bombard the psyche with non-affirming and, in some cases, dehumanizing messages.
a complex and dynamic (ever evolving) biological and psychological process which generates several African culturally specific psychological and behavioral characteristics
It governs how Africans approach situations, what and how Africans do what they do and how Africans express themselves in thoughts and action.
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