To get you started on this assignment, let's first define some terms. Community psychology looks at the relationship between communities and societies and the individuals who live in them and tries to understand what contributes to a high quality of life for individuals within communities. Community psychologists look at economic, cultural, political, social, ethnic, and environmental factors and try to contribute to the well-being of the community by working toward change in areas that are problematic.
Positive practices refers to the efforts to stop undesired behavior through the identification of that behavior and through an immediate example of desired behavior.
Structural violence refers to the harm done to people when social structures and institutions fail to help them meet their basic needs or even prevent them from doing so. Symbolic violence, on the other hand, is all about the humiliation and self-blame that result from being at the bottom of the power hierarchy and oppressed by those above.
With these terms in mind, then, let's think about how positive practices and community psychology can help address and overcome these types of violence. For one thing, community psychology can help identify structural and symbolic violence through its systematic exploration of the elements of society and how individuals are affected by these elements. For instance, an examination of a community's economic structures may reveal significant inequalities and corruption that prevent people from meeting their basic needs.
While people work to change those structures, positive practices can help community members overcome the symbolic violence caused by them. Strengths-based approaches, for instance, can teach people about their personal strengths and point them toward the support networks in the community that can help them achieve a better quality of life.
These networks are one of the elements or qualities of a resilient community that provide positive practices and examples for community members. Other qualities include good leadership, proper communication, healthcare, economic investment, and the ability to identify and solve problems. We can see how community psychologists can evaluate these elements within a community and make suggestions to strengthen them in order to combat structural and symbolic violence.
Finally, pro-social practices like gratitude and generosity allow people to feel important, needed, and appreciated. This, too, counters the self-blame of symbolic violence and guides people toward better self-esteem.