Community social psychology and positive psychology

Learning from the experience of Latin America

Authored by: Ramón Soto Martínez , Salvatore Di Martino

The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138961432
eBook ISBN: 9781315659794
Adobe ISBN:


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Before we begin to delve into the details of Community Social Psychology as a potential ally of positive psychology, we believe it is first necessary to cast a look over the current political, economic, and social situation in Latin America. Indeed, if we observe the transformation that human relationships are undergoing today in Latin American societies – particularly in urban and industrialized areas – we cannot help noticing that the prevailing socio-economic model of this part of the world is increasingly associated with the neoliberal creed, ruthless capitalism, and Protestant work ethic (Stoll, 1990; Weber, 1905/2013). This kind of social order is becoming internalized to uphold a particular kind of individual and social worldview, which we call the “romantic imposture.” We believe it is an “imposture” in that it proposes a narrative whereby people accept dysfunctional socio-economic and political circumstances that are deceptively presented to them as natural and/or unchangeable. On the other hand, it is also “romantic” since, despite implying a life full of misery and exploitation, this worldview offers a “comfort zone” built on the shared belief of the unalterable nature of the world.

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