Peace Psychologists and Social Transformation: A Global South Perspective

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Abstract

How do peace psychologists from the Global South practice and think about social transformation? To address this question, I introduce the concept of reflexivities, and review Bourdieu’s point that different social spaces present different points of view. I propose that when a Global South peace scholar practices and thinks about social transformation: (a) the researcher stands at the intersection of solidarity with local struggles and scholarly productivity; (b) she is both the researcher and the researched; (c) her personal developmental stages interact with the political developmental stages of a transitioning state; (d) she is usually a seasoned data collector and project implementer, but lacks abilities to produce publishable work for a global audience; and (e) in action-research projects, she finds herself implementing the action part of the research, so that North-based knowledge can be demonstrated as useful in the Global South. I call for global collaborations on social-transformation knowledge, because both exploitation and human betterment now use global networked systems. But just like any implementation of the contact hypothesis, the call for global peace scholars to collaborate comes with loud cautionary notes. I close by showing that the future is today, in existing working and human relationships between Global South and North peace psychologists.

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