Forms of oppression and their impact on physical and mental health have been well documented in study. While the scope of psychology has traditionally been conceptualized as intervention at the individual level, the movements toward multicultural, cross-cultural, and critical views of psychology have expanded psychologists’ conceptualization of mental health practice and research. While social justice has gained greater attention, the translation of this perspective with traditional psychology has proved difficult. The proposed symposium offers the framework of structural violence as an organizing theory for exploration of violence (e.g. physical violence, oppression, discrimination, & injustice) within psychology. First introduced by sociologist Johan Galtung (1969) and echoed in the work of social medicine (Farmer, 2006) and the psychopathology of colonization (Bulhan, 1985), structural violence directly explores oppressive forces and their relationship to justice. The purpose of this symposium is to introduce the usefulness of structural violence as a construct in psychology and then demonstrate two contemporary applications of this construct to the work of counseling psychologists. First, this presentation uses the framework of structural violence as it operates in global and national labor markets. Focusing specifically on recent examples in labor practices that can be understood as structural violence and offering suggestions for research, advocacy, and policy for vocational psychology. Second, this presentation will explore counseling psychologists ethical role in the prediction and prevention of violence and make an argument for expanding current definitions of this role to include structural violence. This argument is made through the context of psychologists’ prediction and prevention of mass shootings, which call for practitioners to use societal-level risk factors (i.e. oppression, structural violence) in prediction strategies and engage in culturally-transformative prevention efforts. Overall, this symposium will present implications of structural violence for the work of clinicians, researchers and advocates.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amber_hewitt/5/