W kierunku empowerment

Author: Anna Pluskota
Institution: Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu
Year of publication: 2013
Source: Show
Pages: 70-92
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2013.04.05
PDF: kie/97/kie9705.pdf

Towards Empowerment

The primary goal of this paper is to introduce the concept of empowerment, its sources, definitions and various ways to comprehend it. The author’s professional interest lies in the field of scientific research. But the topic was primarily chosen due to the fact that the concept of empowerment has not only been increasingly recognized and studied by social sciences but also widely applied in everyday life. The concept of empowerment has been utilized in many different contexts. It can be categorized as a scientific phenomenon that in spite of being popular and widely used does not have a uniform definition. Empowerment is not only a theory but also an idea, a model or a research. Empowerment is also both a process and the outcome of a process. It may be understood by any one of the mentioned meanings or all of them together. The paper is based on the assumption that empowerment is a multidimensional concept. There are two important consequences of this assumption. First of all, as already mentioned, the concept does not have one uniform definition (the definition depends on different socio-cultural and political contexts the concept operates in). Second of all, the nature of its many dimensions derives from its many levels. There are three levels of empowerment – individual, organizational and community. The paper postulates that the levels are interconnected and interact. So any change on any level influences the other levels. The levels are connected by mediating structures that are essential to find the answer to the question this paper raises – whether an individual can influence a social change? The deliberations presented in this paper are set in the educational context. The author’s reflections on the social and educational intervention models are also set in that context. The paper concludes with the thesis that the empowerment (resources) model needs to be included in the academic curriculum.


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resources model strengths model deficits model mediating structures critical consciousness empowerment learning Education

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