Social psychology and politics
Social psychology and politics

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5.1 Liberation psychology: An interview with Mark Burton

Liberation psychology was pioneered by Ignacio Martín-Baró, and informed by the work of the educational philosopher Paulo Freire. Liberation psychologists work with marginalised and oppressed communities to understand and improve the reality of people’s lives. Liberation psychology has a much more explicit social justice and social change agenda than would ordinarily be found in more mainstream psychological approaches. It is focused on action and practice; on ‘what works’ and what is relevant for understanding and transforming the experiences of people in these communities. It also sees the role of psychologists as fundamentally different from mainstream approaches: the psychologist is more engaged and actively involved in social transformation and liberation (Burton, 2004; 2013; Burton and Kagan, 2009).

Listen to the following short interview, where Mark Burton talks about the origins of liberation psychology and discusses six key principles of this approach.

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