Unity through Community Service Activities

Strategies to Bridge Ethnic and Cultural Divides


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About the Book

Community service work is an ideal way not only to help define how young people deal with each other but actually to facilitate these interactions and help them achieve meaning in their lives. This book addresses community service ways to overcome divisions, foster multicultural group development, and reduce ethnocentrism and ethnic conflict.

About the Author(s)

August John Hoffman is a professor of psychology at California State University Northridge and El Camino College-Compton Center. His research interests include community service work and student mentoring as effective methods to reduce ethnic conflict and improve self-efficacy among community college students.

Norma Espinosa Parker, born in Havana, is a developer of the CCC Cultural and Fine Arts Academy, whose more than 300 students from different backgrounds, cultures, and races were enrolled in a summer and after school music program.

Eduardo Sanchez is a psychology student at California State University Northridge. He collaborates with Hoffman on various research projects involving community relations. His research interests include interracial interaction through community service work.

Julie Wallach is a graduate of California State University Northridge. She has co-authored more than a dozen articles with Hoffman.

Bibliographic Details

August John Hoffman , Norma Espinosa Parker, Eduardo Sanchez and Julie Wallach

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4108-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5318-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1. Community Service Work in Compton College: Bringing People Together via Gardening Work      11

2. Group Work as a Necessary Factor of Human Evolution: Work Cooperatively Together or Perish      26

3. The Establishment of Roles within the Group      44

4. The Dynamic Relationship between Collaborative Learning and Community Service Work: Working Together for a Common Purpose      56

5. The Relationship between Community Service Learning and Interdependency: Our “External” Differences Help Us to Realize Our “Internal” Similarities      68

6. Community Service Work: Improving Communication and Reducing Student Ethnocentrism      80

7. Teaching Principles of Group Development vs. Individual Gain      88

8. Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination via Interdependency      102

9. Keeping It Real: The Influence of Technology on the Quality of Interpersonal and Group Relationships      125

10. The Paradox of Maintaining Ethnic and Cultural Identity and Assimilating in the Dominant Group      138

11. Reducing Hate Crimes via Community Service Work in Multiethnic Student Populations      147

12. The Critical Periods for Incorporating Community Service Work Principles      167

Appendix A Understanding Immigration Reform and Ethnocentrism from the Cuban Perspective (by Dr. Norma Espinosa Parker)      187

Appendix B Directly from the People: How Community Service Work Has Changed the Lives of Individuals within the Community      201

Bibliography      205

Index      211