11/16/2010

Positivism

  • Definition: "the basis of sociology's claim to a scientific paradigm which measures human behavior, often in a decontextualized way and with little concern for the more intangible intuitive, emotional or feeling aspects of being human". This theory has basis in dichotomous thought as well as bourgeouis philosophy which looks to empirical science to be the true source of knowledge. See xiv of Ledwith's "Community Development: A Critical Approach". People are looked at in a scientific, objective manner.

  • Apply: A community development situation exemplifying this theory would be where the organizer(s) is looking at the community not as individuals, but as objects needing to be dealed with as a part of the problem solving. There is no thought to how the community members may be feeling about the issue at hand and how they may be affected by the potential changes. If the issue is at the interpersonal level, the practitioner simply looks at the person, decides what they need to solve their problem and does not discuss with them how they might or might not want that change.

  • Adapt: In an effort to do "Positivism", there is not so much positive emotions carried in the work with the community. It is objective; scientific. This can be adapted to be more intuitive to community concerns and desires by looking at scientific research/surveys and considering how change based on that information may effect the people. Further research can be done by the organizer(s) to learn how the community feels about the issues at hand.

1 comment:

  1. I also gathered some interesting information on this theory from this resource: http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/help/mach1.htm.

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