Article

Introduction to Social Class and Classism in Counseling Psychology

William M. Liu

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Class in Counseling

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398250
Published online May 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398250.013.0001

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Introduction to Social Class and Classism in Counseling Psychology

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Psychologists and counselors have difficulty conceptualizing social class and classism as individual and psychological constructs. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the concepts and constructs discussed throughout this book. The author begins with an description of economic privilege as a concept tied to other privileges such as White and Christian, but with distinct features pertinent to understanding classism and inequality. One distinct advantage from economic privilege, as the author describes, is the protection of cultural and environmental consequences. The author also describes the most recent revision to the Social Class Worldview Model (SCWM) and describes how it may be applied to working with clients. Elaborating further on features within the SCWM, the author also presents a model of Social Class and Classism Consciousness (SCCC) which may be used to describe the ways in which people see themselves as social-class individuals. Finally, the chapter concludes with a description of classism-based trauma. Classism-based trauma is a single significant or repeated exposure to trauma which may cause people to alter their lives. The concepts and constructs presented in this chapter are frameworks that may be used to guide clinicians and researchers in further understanding social class and classism in people's lives and to allow scholarship to develop which may explore and investigate these important dimensions.

Keywords: Economic privilege; Social Class Worldview Model; Classism; Trauma; Counseling; Research

Article.  12845 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Counselling Psychology ; Psychological Assessment and Testing ; Developmental Psychology

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