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NCJ Number: 64595 Find in a Library
Title: ALIENATION AS A VEHICLE OF CHANGE
Journal: JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(1979)  Pages:3-11
Author(s): H TOCH
Corporate Author: Clinical Psychology Publishing Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Clinical Psychology Publishing Co
Brandon, VT 05733
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ALIENATED INDIVIDUALS, SUCH AS POLICE OFFICERS OR PRISON INMATES, CAN BE HELPED BY TECHNIQUES WHICH STIMULATE DECISIONMAKING AND PARTICIPATION IN THE SYSTEM.
Abstract: THE ALIENATED PERSON FEELS ABANDONED BY INSTITUTIONS, POWERLESS TO CHANGE THEM, AND LACKS A CLEAR VISION OF GOALS OR STANDARDS. MODERN SOCIOLOGISTS VIEW STRUCTURAL CHANGE AS THE PRINCIPAL SOLUTION, BUT THIS IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTION STRATEGIES. ALIENATION BECOMES A BEHAVIOR PATTERN INDEPENDENT OF THE ORIGINAL CAUSATIVE FACTORS WHICH IS REINFORCED AND SPREAD BY CONTACT WITH ALL INSTITUTIONS. ALIENATION BREEDS COUNTERALIENATION AS GROUPS WHO ARE THE SOURCE OF EACH OTHER'S DISCONTENT COME INTO CONFLICT. ALTHOUGH ALIENATED INDIVIDUALS USUALLY FEEL THEY CANNOT CHANGE THEIR ENVIRONMENT, THEY CAN BE HELPED IF THIS PREMISE IS DISPROVED. POLICE OFFICERS FREQUENTLY BECOME ALIENATED. THEIR BEHAVIOR IS MANIFESTED IN UNRESPONSIVE OR SADISTIC BEHAVIOR. THIS INTERVENTION MODEL WAS APPLIED TO THE OAKLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT (CALIFORNIA) WITH CONSIDERABLE SUCCESS. A MIXED GROUP OF SEVEN OFFICERS, THREE OF WHOM HAD HISTORIES OF CONFLICTS, WERE INDUCED TO RESEARCH POLICE-CIVILIAN VIOLENCE, PROPOSE REFORMS TO PREVENT SUCH SITUATIONS, AND THEN LEAD OTHER GROUPS OF CONFLICT-PRONE OFFICERS IN WORKING ON THE SAME PROBLEM. THE ALIENATED OFFICERS GRADUALLY ACCEPTED THEIR PROBLEMSOLVING ROLES, EXPERIENCED SUCCESS WHEN THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS WERE IMPLEMENTED, AND THEN ASSUMED LONG-RANGE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CHANGING THE SYSTEM. THE POLICE CHIEF MET FREQUENTLY WITH THE OFFICERS, AND THEIR CYNICAL APPRAISAL OF HIM CHANGED AS HE WAS RECEPTIVE TO THEIR IDEAS. FORMERLY ALIENATED PERSONS CAN BE KEY FACTORS IN REFORM BECAUSE THEY ARE CRITICAL OF INSTITUTIONS, ORIENTED TOWARD THEIR PEERS, AND CAN COMMUNICATE WITH THOSE TENDING TOWARD ALIENATION. THIS TECHNIQUE HAS ALSO BEEN USED SUCCESSFULLY IN PRISON SITUATIONS BY DISCUSSING WORK PROBLEMS WITH INMATES AND UTILIZING THEIR SKILLS AND OPINIONS TO IMPLEMENT REFORMS. MOST PERSONS DO NOT WANT TO BE ISOLATED, AND WHEN OUTLOOKS ARE ALTERED, AN ENTIRE SYSTEM CAN BE CHANGED. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Alienation; Inmate attitudes; Participatory management; Police attitudes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64595

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