Indonesian Students' Representation on Psychology and Social Change: Challenge for Curriculum Progression
Open Journal of Social Sciences, 5(8), 122-135 (2017)
14 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 10, 2017
As a science, psychology experiences paradoxical condition. There is indeed a recognition that its applications in the educational, clinical, and industrial fields have proliferated extensively in Indonesia.
However, there are criticisms that:
1) psychology mimics natural science epistemology,
2) the identity of Indonesian Psychology is still in the “status quo”,
3) its role in designing social change is minimal (e.g. “Mental Revolution” movement in Indonesia is considered to be more influenced by Sociology rather than Psychology proponents),
4) psychology tends to prioritize the well-being of the elite (socially-economically) of society, not the poorest.
This study used a qualitative descriptive approach to explore the social representation on the perceptions of university students about the contribution of psychology in inspiring them to create social change. Participants of this study were 104 Psychology students (28 males, 76 females; 101 undergraduate, 3 graduate students) in Jakarta, Banten, Westand Central Java, Indonesia.
We asked them:
a) the reason for choosing Psychology study program,
b) the meaning of social change,
c) the psychological courses associated with social change,
d) the social problems urgent to be managed by psychology, and
e) what their own plans are in making the change.
Generality and uniqueness of the participants’ answers will be discussed so as to generate suggestions for psychology curriculum development that is more contextual, innovative, and empowering in Indonesia.
Keywords: Colonization, Critical, Psychology, Indonesia, Poorest, Social Change, Social Problem
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