This book provides an interdisciplinary examination of the multiple meanings of "empowerment." Rather than seeking to define and critique this term, it draws out a range of different meanings, exploring diverse possibilities for action and engagement.
We must carefully examine the possibilities and limits of the approaches to empowerment we choose. Efforts focused on building individual skills and capacities, for example, may overlook opportunities for supporting more collective, community-based forms of social action. In concise chapters, the book maps out a range of ways that people can be empowered along different continuums of power, moving from more familiar forms of teaching and counselling to less common and more radical strategies for fostering solidarity and civil resistance.
This will be of great interest to advanced students and scholars in a wide variety of fields, particularly social work, public health, sociology, education, and international development as an introductory yet comprehensive study of the nuances of empowerment.
Table of Contents
List of figures; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. Continuums of Power; 3. Individual Empowerment; 4. Occupy Wall Street Movement: A Case Study; 5. Collaboration; 6. Counterscript: An Interlude; 7. Solidarity; 8. Civil Resistance; 9. Ecologies of Empowerment? Appendix; Index
Aaron Schutz is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His research focuses on democratic theory and collective action for social change. He has worked with a range of community groups on community organizing projects. He has published numerous articles and three other books.