Progressive Community Organizing : Reflective Practice in a Globalizing World book cover
2nd Edition

Progressive Community Organizing
Reflective Practice in a Globalizing World

ISBN 9780415538084
Published July 25, 2013 by Routledge
226 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The second edition of Progressive Community Organizing offers a concise intellectual history of community organizing and social movements while also providing practical tools geared toward practitioner skill building. Drawing from social-constructionist, feminist and critical traditions, Progressive Community Organizing affirms the practice of issue framing and offers two innovative frameworks that will change the way students of organizing think about their work.

Progressive Community Organizing is ideal for both undergraduate and graduate courses focused on community theory and practice, community organizing, community development, and social change and service learning. The second edition presents new case studies, including those of a welfare rights organization and a youth-led LGBTQ organization. There are also new sections on the capabilities approach, queer theory, the Civil Rights movement, and the practices of self-inquiry and non-violent communication. Discussion of global justice has been expanded significantly and includes an account of a transnational action-research project in post-earthquake Haiti. Each chapter contains discussion questions, written and web resources, and a list of key terms; a full, free-access companion website is also available for the book.

Table of Contents

Preface  Acknowledgments  Part I: Foundations of Community Organizing  1. Introduction  2. The Self-Aware Organizer  3. Theories and Ideas for the Progressive Organizer  4. Learning From Social Movements  5. Community Organizing Frameworks  Part II: Tools for Community Organizing  6. Organizing People: Constituencies and Coalitions  7. Toward Empowering Organizations  8. Communication: Issue Framing, Media and Technology  9. Tactics for Change  Part III: Enduring and Emergent Issues in Organizing  10. Toward Solidarity: Understanding Oppression and Working With Identity Politics  11. Religious and Spiritual Aspects of Organizing  12. Global Justice: Organization and Resistance  References  Index

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Loretta Pyles, PhD, is an associate professor at the school of social welfare at the State University of New York at Albany and has engaged in community development and research focusing on economic justice, gender-based violence, and disasters for 18 years. She has been studying grassroots participation in disaster recovery in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. She is cofounder of Building Bridges, a women’s antiviolence group in Albany, New York. She is also a certified yoga teacher.


"The first edition of Progressive Community Organizing was a splendid and relatively unique community organizing text in a field that has sparked a great deal of recent interest. The second edition, significantly revised and expanded, is even better. My favorite aspects are how Loretta Pyles grounds the study of community-organization practice in the ideas and contexts that shape contemporary efforts. Progressive Community Organizing is especially strong on the importance of theory to practice, an area most books minimize or ignore. This is a highly accessible and informative read, chock full of valuable insights from an experienced and gifted teacher and practitioner."

—Robert Fisher, PhD, professor and chair of community organization at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, and author of Let the People Decide

"Pyles’s work is a critical text for students, educators, and practitioners of transformative community organizing. Drawing upon theory and practice, Pyles details the multiple levels—individual, organizational and societal—at which transformation must occur to build movements for lasting comprehensive change."

—Laura J. Wernick, PhD, assistant professor at the Fordham University School of Social Service

"With each page of Progressive Community Organizing, Loretta Pyles reminds us of what organizing can be at its best. This is the book I had always hoped to find—one that makes the connections between organizing, critical theory, and social services. It is a story about community organizing as a way of being, linking practice with the philosophy, critical thinking, disaster relief, and the workings of social movements. Social work students should read and be inspired by this seminal work."

—Benjamin Shepard, PhD, LMSW, associate professor, human services department, CUNY/NYC College of Technology and advocacy chair of the National Organization of Human Services

"This book is a bracing antidote to the trend within community organizing circles to accommodate to the pressures of neo-liberalism. It links community organizing to its social justice ideals and social movement roots—in theory and practice—and provides valuable insights regarding the application of its progressive tradition to the contemporary environment."

—Michael Reisch, PhD, MSW, Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland School of Social Work

"Pyles’s welcome second edition updates, deepens, and expands the theory and practice of community organizing. It continues and contemporizes the essence of the community-organizing method using understandable language grounded in social work values of social and economic justice. The new case studies, concepts, and methods of intervention will be as valuable and appreciated by students, field instructors and faculty as was the first edition."

—Terry Mizrahi, PhD, MSW, professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and director of the Education Center for Community Organizing

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.