Towards a Liberatory Ethics of Care Framework for Organizing Social Change


  • Anjali Dutt
  • Danielle Kohfeldt


Community psychology originated as a discipline designed to reduce societal inequities and promote social justice. The field’s development, however, coincides with the proliferation of neoliberal policies and ideology that run counter to many of the aims of community psychology. In light of the contemporary socio-political landscape, this paper advances a liberatory ethics of care model as a path forward for community psychologists interested in societal transformation. We illustrate liberatory care as a guide for social change via case studies of two different groups involved in transformation-oriented projects to improve the well-being of their communities (i.e., Latinx youth in the United States involved in an activist art project and women in rural Nicaragua involved in feminist organizing). We specifically illustrate that an ethics of care framework both guides the actions of these groups, and offers an alternative focus for community psychologists interested in promoting transformation towards more healthful and just societies. We aim to contribute to efforts to promote justice-oriented change by explicating the role of care oriented-communal values in promoting liberatory practices.