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liberation psychology


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An approach to social psychology that attempts to reconstruct the discipline from a radical ideological perspective and place it at the service of the poor and oppressed by focusing on problems such as urban overcrowding, land reform, and violence. It was developed largely by the Salvadorean social psychologist and Jesuit priest Ignacio Martín Baró (1942–89) and was inspired by Marxism, psychoanalysis, some approaches to social psychology, and above all by liberation theology, the doctrine influential chiefly in Latin America that Christianity demands the overthrow of exploitative and oppressive social and political institutions. Its moral flavour and commitment to liberation distinguish it from other radical approaches to psychology, such as critical theory. It has been influential mainly in Latin America and South Africa, but it also has followers among social psychologists in Europe, North America, and Australasia. PSL abbrev. (see etymology). [From Spanish psicología social de la liberación]

Subjects: Psychology.


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