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Critical Social/Personality Psychology

Mission Statement/Training Philosophy

With deep collaboration between Critical Social/Personality Psychology and Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, we share faculty, coursework, colloquia, and research projects. Our students learn to understand their work in historical, social, and political contexts; to be literate in a wide range of epistemological and methodological traditions, including qualitative and quantitative approaches to research; and to become responsible advocates for change within the discipline of psychology, our local communities, policy making sites and larger social movements. At the center of this work is our strong, interdisciplinary and collaborative community cultivated at the intersection of the academy and public life.

Our community is comprised not only of faculty and students but also of visiting scholars from around the world and professionals across many other disciplines, including anthropologists, sociologists, historians, artists, community organizers, public health and social welfare scholars, feminist and neo-colonial theorists, and many other partners. This community is extended and enhanced by alumni teaching in psychology, gender studies, sexuality, public health, social welfare, youth studies and education; researching in legal, health and criminal justice advocacy organizations; and developing policy in the fields of youth development, mass incarceration, education and community based health.

We inhabit many communities – those concerned with social and environmental justice, with place and public life, with identity and community – and we are committed to the participatory power of our work. We are committed to the idea that, as psychologists, we can make real, immediate contributions to social inquiry for the purposes of social justice, and so to human welfare, and that this is, in fact, the most meaningful way to build a vital, engaged, and truly social psychology.

Students’ Dissertations - Completed in 2012 and In Progress

  • Sean Akerman (2012).  Of home and other figments: The passage of exile in the Tibetan diaspora
  • Michelle Billies (In preparation). Let’s see your ID: Surveillance threat and the construction of human security and insecurity.
  • Yvanne Joseph (In preparation). The cultural voices of African, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino/a immigrants in New York:  A qualitative study of the hybrid and multiple identities of acculturating black immigrants from non-English speaking countries
  • Cathy Ma (2012). Eat at Mom's: Critiquing and rebuilding the breastfeeding paradigm
  • Carla Marquez (In preparation). The long shadow of moral exclusion: Parole and reentry for people convicted of violent crimes in New York State
  • Carolina Munoz Proto (In preparation). The psychology of possibility: Learning from the World March for Peace and Nonviolence
  • Puleng Segalo (In preparation). In our own voices:  Black women’s narratives of conflict and post-conflict experiences in South Africa
  • Rachel Verni (2012). Facebook: Shifting privacy, identity, and power online
  • Susan Weseen (2012). Bullying in schools: Dilemmas of practice