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Psychological Sense of Community in a Politically Constructed Group

Sonn, Christopher C and Fisher, Adrian T (1996) Psychological Sense of Community in a Politically Constructed Group. Journal of Community Psychology, 24 (4). 417 -430. ISSN 0090-4392

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Abstract

McMillan and Chavis' (1986) psychological sense of community (PSC) model was used to build a profile of a politically constructed group. Twenty-three people, who were classified as Coloured in South Africa, now residing in Melbourne, Australia were interviewed with an instrument to assess PSC. The data indicated that the model presented two dimensions for this group. The first dimension reflected the externally constructed and imposed definitions of group membership under the Apartheid laws. The second dimension relates to the ways in which the people socially constructed notions of community within their sub-group. Results also showed that the people rejected the imposed label of 'coloured', but they still internalized some of the negative stereotypes associated with the label and status. The people also internalized positive experiences of support and group membership that developed within the enforced groupings. It is suggested that the PSC model provides a useful tool for investigating group specific meanings and understandings of community. It is argued that a PSC facilitates experiences of belonging, security, and relatedness. PSC, in turn, will facilitate adaptation to new contexts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: adaptation, oppression, psychological sense of community, social support, South African
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
RFCD Classification > 370000 Studies in Human Society
Depositing User: Mr Angeera Sidaya
Date Deposited: 29 May 2006
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:38
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/407
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Citations in Scopus: 42 - View on Scopus

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