Social Exclusion Essays

1930 Words Jan 12th, 2013 8 Pages
Examine a model of social exclusion/inclusion and assess the possible responses of both psychology and the church to this model.

In this essay I will give a brief definition of social exclusion and will identify and define a model of it. Having defined the model I will identify some of its characteristics and show some of the ways it manifests itself. I will then assess the possible responses to this model of both psychology and the church.

There are several definitions of social exclusion. The Office for Social Inclusion, Dublin defines it thus: ‘Social exclusion is being unable to participate in society because of a lack of resources that are normally available to the general population.’ (2007) [Online]

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Positive Psychology is not simply focused on positive thinking and positive emotions, it is focused on what makes individuals and communities flourish rather than languish. Flourishing is defined as: ‘a state of positive mental health; to thrive, to prosper, and to fare well in endeavours free of mental illness, filled with emotional vitality and function positively in private and social realms’ (Michalec et al., 2009 cited in Hefferon and Boniwell 2011 p 2)

Positive psychology is a science of the positive aspects of life, such as happiness, well-being and flourishing (Boniwell 2008). Its founder, Martin Seligman, summarises it as the ‘scientific study of optimal human functioning that aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive.’ The roots of positive psychology date back to the ancient Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle, who believed that within each person there is a unique spirit guiding them. 20th century psychologists, such as Carl Jung, Maria Jahoda and Abraham Maslow developed this thinking, Maslow being the first to use the term ‘positive psychology’.

Mental illness sounds like a nemesis of positive psychology, however, studying its causes and symptoms can contribute to individual well-being. One of the main goals of positive psychology is that individuals are helped to identify their signature strengths, which

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