Theoretical frameworks such as minority stress and social constructionist can shape behavior regarding my social change topic of heroin, as well as, why there is an increase in use and addiction. A minority stress framework suggests that minority groups comprise a disadvantage that is subject to a stigma that predisposes them to overwhelming stress that can lead to negative mental health issues (Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2012). Minority stress points to social conditions that create a sense of inferiority (Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2012). The social constructionist framework emphasizes on an individual’s meaning of their experiences based on his or her meaning or knowledge (Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2012). Every day interactions, social context, historical, cultural, and ideological context or ideas help create an individual’s meaning-making process (Goldberg & Kuvalanka, 2012).
Psychology’s role in advocating for a greater society and how it demonstrates it’s role is continuing to educate society on mental health, which includes finding a way to prevent society from dehumanizing social influences (Fox, 1993). Society needs to except that psychologists are a key factor in politically and socially enlightening individuals in the importance of recognizing oppression, racism, sexism (Fox, 1993). Psychologists need to become advocates for society and social change (Fox, 1993). Fox (1993) discusses the need for psychologists to have a favorable bias of social change. Supporting social change is in the best interest of the well-being of psychology, economic fairness, and ecological survival (Fox, 1993). Psychology must demonstrate the importance of identifying heroin use as one that does not have any discrimination against age, race, economic status, ethnicity, or educational level.
The role and responsibilities of psychology with regards to the heroin issue are to expand their practices and his or her way of thinking to include dealing with issues that are effecting the “global village” (Marsella, 1998). We, as a society are asking psychologists to rethink his or her recommendations, intervention techniques, assumptions, and roles to assist in the changing social challenges (Marsella, 1998).
Fox, D. R. (1993). Psychological jurisprudence and radical social change. The AmericanPsychologist, 48(3), 234–241.
Goldberg, A. E., & Kuvalanka, K. A. (2012). Marriage (in)equality: The perspectives of adolescents and emerging adults with lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(1), 34–52.
Marsella, A. J. (1998). Toward a ‘global community psychology’: Meeting the needs of a changing world. The American Psychologist, 53(12), 1282–1291.