An Introduction

Kenneth I. Maton, Edward Seidman, Mark S. Aber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Empowerment is central to any effort by researchers, community practitioners, or policymakers for bringing about meaningful social change related to marginalized individuals and groups. It is invaluable as a guiding paradigm because it points both to a process of social change (citizen-based) and an outcome of such change (enhanced access to critical resources) for those lacking power in society. The process of empowerment is participatory and developmental-occurring over time, involving active and sustained engagement, and resulting in growth in awareness and capacity. Many different aspects of empowerment as a process and as an outcome have implications for the work of social scientists interested in enduring social change. This book focuses on two aspects: developing new empowering settings in the community and enhancing the influence of existing ones, and using research methods that seek to hear, understand,support, and amplify the voices of those individuals and groups in the community. This introductory chapter briefly discusses each of these. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmpowering Settings and Voices for Social Change
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864508
ISBN (Print)0195380576, 9780195380576
StatePublished - 2011


  • Empowering settings
  • Empowerment
  • Marginalized groups
  • Marginalized individuals
  • Social change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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