Before taking this course, I truly believed that taking an individualized approach was more efficient in providing solutions for social justice than a transformative ecological approach. I thought that, by focusing on an individual, that individual could be helped more than by putting that individual into a generalized category. However, I learned that even though “ameliorative projects have the advantage of producing results in a relatively short period of time [and are] more focused” on an individual’s unique self; this psychological intervention doesn’t prove useful when devising up a comprehensive plan for social justice for groups as a whole (Fox 171).
After taking this course, I understand that while individuals are important as a unique entity, they form a small part of a larger social context. According to Fox (1997), “the micro level (family and interpersonal relationships) [and] meso level (workplace, schools) social interventions are embedded within a larger social context of inequality, oppression and discrimination” (p.171). Thus, by combining the micro, meso levels with the macro level of social ecology, a more effective plan for social justice can be obtained.
The main challenges I believe can occur with a holistic transformative model is the generalization of individuals into categories, which kind of falls into stereotyping individuals of a social group. However, the great aspect of a holistic transformative model is the way in which it “constantly suggests the possibility that context is shaping causal relationships” which proves this model tries to tie the individual into the larger social context framework.
The only thing that could happen with some people is believing a common belief that “a person is simply a product of their environment.” While this is true in some cases, the holistic transformative model should be used to “see the full range of alternative conceptualizations of [social problems and find] multiple strategies for intervention” ( Shankoff 81). In this way, the micro (individual) can be considered as more than an individual, but an important part of the macrocosm of social structure.
- Fox, Dennis. Prilleltensky, Isaac. (1997). Critical Psychology: An Introduction. London: SAGE Publications.
- Shankoff, Jack P. Meisels, Samuel J. (2000). Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention. United States of America: Cambridge University Press.