A Quarter Century of Community Psychology
Looking back over the past quarter century or so, it becomes apparent that Community Psychology has developed a rich tradition of theory, empirical research, action, and innovative methods. Within the field of psychology, community psychology challenges traditional ways of thinking. It considers not only the person but also whole ecological systems, recognizing that the linkages between persons and systems may be as important as either factor alone. It examines both top-down and bottom-up change; it recognizes the need for cultural diversity; and it recognizes the need for both research and praxis-actually, their interaction, which is termed "action research" or "action science. " Many of the important writings have been published in the American Journal of Community Psychology (AJ CP). l As such, the intellectual history of the field is embedded in this journal. In 1996, The Publications Committee of the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association), in cooperation with Plenum Publishing Corporation, published a call for an editor or editorial team to "develop a volume which will use the most impactful papers from the [AJCP] to portray the rich tradition of. action research. " (Call for Nominations, 1996, p. 17). The editors of the volume you are holding answered that call and were subsequently asked to bring the project to fruition.