Critical Community Psychology


Critical community psychology can be thought of as an umbrella term that covers a number of politically radical responses to, and differences from, traditional community psychology. It is a particular kind of orientation to community psychological theory and practice. Critical community psychology—as with other forms of critical scholarship—takes as its starting point a commitment to “bring about a radically better society” (D. Fox, 2000, p. 21). It demands that we be acutely aware of the pervasive influence of power in creating and maintaining unjust social conditions (Teo, 2015). In solidarity and close partnership with groups—oppressed through violence, exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, or cultural imperialism—critical community psychology seeks to draw attention to the socially divisive and ecologically destructive broader patterns and structures—such as capitalism, neoliberal globalization, patriarchy, colonialism, hegemony, and racism—that condition the scope of social problems and engage in collective action to dismantle oppressive social arrangements. (Evans, Duckett, Lawthom, & Kivell, 2017)

Books & Chapters

Evans, S. D., Duckett, P., Lawthom, R., & Kivell, N. (2017). Positioning the critical in community psychology. In M. A. Bond, I. Serrano-García, and C. B. Keys (Eds.). APA Handbook of Community Psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical Foundations, Core Concepts, and Emerging Challenges (pp. 107-128). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Kagan, C., Burton, M., Duckett, P., Lawthom, R., & Siddiquee, A. (2011). Critical Community Psychology (1st ed.). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Prilleltensky, I., & Nelson, G. (1997). Community psychology: Reclaiming social justice. In D. Fox & I. Prilleltensky (Eds.), Critical psychology: An introduction (pp. 166-184). London: Sage.


Angelique, H. (2012), Embodying critical feminism in community psychology: unraveling the fabric of gender and class. J. Community Psychol., 40: 77–92. doi: 10.1002/jcop.20488

Angelique, H. & Kyle, K. (2002). Monterey declaration of critical community psychology. The Community Psychologist, A Publication of the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association. 35(1), 35-36.

Burton, M. & Kagan, C. (2001). Community Psychology: Why this gap in Britain? Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Centennial Conference, Glasgow, March 2001. Available at

Davidson, H., Evans, S., Ganote, C., Henrickson, J., Jacobs-Priebe, L., Jones, D. L., . . . Riemer, M. (2006). Power and action in critical theory across disciplines: Implications for critical community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38(1-2), 35-49. doi:

Fisher, A. T., Sonn, C. C. and Evans, S. D. (2007), The place and function of power in community psychology: philosophical and practical issues. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 17: 258–267. doi: 10.1002/casp.934

Fryer, D., Duckett, P., & Pratt, R. (2004). Critical community psychology: what, why and how? Clinical Psychology, 38, 39-43.

Fryer, D., & Fagan, R. (2003). Toward A critical community psychological perspective on unemployment and mental health research. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32(1), 89-96. Retrieved from

Reyes Cruz, M., & Sonn, C. C. (2011). (De)colonizing culture in community psychology: Reflections from critical social science. American Journal of Community Psychology, 47(1-2), 203-14. doi:

Sandler, J. (2007). Community-based practices: Integrating dissemination theory with critical theories of power and justice. American Journal of Community Psychology, 40(3-4), 272-89. doi:

Thompson, M. (2005). The concepts, values and ideas of critical community psychology. Retrieved from

Watkins, M., & Ciofalo, N. (2011). Creating and Sharing Critical Community Psychology Curriculum for the 21st Century: An Invitation. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, 2(2), 9–18.