Redefining Theory and Practice to Guide Social Transformation: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Redefining Theory and Practice to Guide Social Transformation: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Beth Fisher-Yoshida (Columbia University, USA) and Joan Camilo Lopez (Columbia University, USA)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: December, 2020|Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 200
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6627-5
ISBN13: 9781799866275|ISBN10: 1799866270|EISBN13: 9781799866299|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781799866282
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Description & Coverage
Description:

The application of theory to practice in addressing social transformation still has a lot of room for growth and improvement. This is also true of theory being informed by practice. Too often, there are gaps between what is studied in the academy and what is needed in the field. The academy develops theories in isolation from the everyday lives of people, especially in post-conflict environments. Communities seeking innovative ways to address their social needs can benefit from the learning of theories and research conducted within academia. At the same time, these methods need to be relevant to the local contexts within which they are being used. While there are certain norms of communication in the academy of how research is conducted and disseminated, there needs to be a translation into practical terms to be used in the field.

Redefining Theory and Practice to Guide Social Transformation: Emerging Research and Opportunities addresses the need practitioners and social change agents have in finding processes and practices to use in the field to engage with and transform communities. This critical reference book provides an innovative fieldwork method that leads to social transformation and suggests ways to further develop the relationship between academic theories and practices around social conflicts with the existing local knowledge. The chapters include mini case studies that have been developed over the years from the authors’ work with youth and community leaders with the objective of providing a methodology that allows practitioners to approach the field by engaging with local actors in ways that are generative and trustworthy, yet rigorous. While highlighting the practices, notions, and technologies that are at work in conflict, post-conflict, or transitioning out of conflict settings by local community leaders, this book is ideally for practitioners in the field of conflict, peacebuilding, and social and conflict transformation; community leaders and social organizers; as well as practitioners, stakeholders, researchers, academicians, and students interested in social transformation.

Coverage:

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Community Empowerment
  • Community Leadership
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Evaluation and Assessment
  • Fieldwork
  • Peacebuilding
  • Relationship Building
  • Self-Awareness
  • Social Transformation
  • Student Learning
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Editor/Author Biographies

Beth Fisher-Yoshida is a Facilitator, Educator, Mediator and Executive Coach, who partners with clients to develop initiatives that will strengthen their core communication skills. She takes a systemic approach to working on both simple and complex issues with multiple stakeholders pertaining to all phases of the social transformation process, focusing on preparation by developing self-awareness, women and negotiation, storytelling and narrative, and culture. She is President and CEO of Fisher Yoshida International, LLC, and clients have included global organizations in the Fortune 100, private sector, nonprofit and government sectors, military and security forces, communities, school districts and academic institutions. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida is Professor of Professional Practice and Academic Director of the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program, Vice-Chair of Faculty at School of Professional Studies, Co-Chair of the Advanced Consortium for Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) and Director of the Youth, Peace and Security Project at the Earth Institute, all at Columbia University. She serves on the Boards of the CMM Institute for Personal and Social Evolution (CMMI), Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York (ACRGNY), Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HDHS), and the International Advisory Board of Sunkhronos Institue.

Joan Camilo Lopez is program manager at the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity at Columbia University, adjunct lecturer at Columbia University and the City University of New York, CUNY. His work is situated in the threshold where sociopolitical processes led by youth community leaders meet with the production of spaces of peace in areas where violent conflicts are rampant. He focuses on understanding the ways youth leaders make sense of violent conflicts, and on how they construct practices and technologies to respond peacefully to the dynamics of such conflicts. He is also interested on how the concrete practices and technologies designed by community youth leaders can inform and further develop academic approaches to peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and leadership; and on how the work of youth leaders can benefit from applying some of the practices and theories that are produced in academia. In short, his work lies where theory and praxis melt.

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