Psychologist Who Definitely Doesn’t Have a Left Wing Agenda Excited About Performing Community Action Research
Community psychologist Dr. Harvey Teller recently obtained a government grant to conduct community action research in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco. He is eager to work closely with the community as they introduce and measure the effects of several psychological interventions, all of which implicitly assume that communities require external assistance from ivory tower researchers who don’t even live there.
“This is such a special opportunity; to study and assist poor people simultaneously is something I’ve wanted to do all my life,” said Dr. Teller, conspicuously brandishing a Bernie 2020 button. “There is nothing more rewarding than giving back, and hey, it doesn’t hurt that the government’s giving me a boatload of funding. Plus I’ll get a few research papers out of it too, so that’s pretty good.”
When asked whether he was personally familiar with the community he would be intervening in, Dr. Teller laughed aloud and brandished an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez button which he pinned alongside his Bernie button. This did not elicit the reaction he expected and after a brief period of silence, he answered the question.
“I haven’t actually spent that much time in the community we are saving… I mean, helping. I grew up somewhat privileged and was afforded the luxury of reading about poor people in textbooks instead of spending actual time with them. Luckily, my community psychology training has equipped me with the most effective methods of social assistance, like making sure the homelessness, drug addiction, and schizophrenia are distributed equitably across the various races, sexual orientations, and genders.”
Dr. Teller’s interventions will be in effect from October 7th, 2019 to May 15th, 2020, after which he will most likely abandon the community and move on to other endeavours.
NOTES: Community action research involves a researcher going into a community and working with the community to address/research issues pertinent to them. Historically speaking, it has not been uncommon for researchers to go into communities, do interventions, and then exit when it is convenient for them, leaving the community to deal with the consequences of their intervention.