IncLab projects explore topics related to social marginalization using a wide variety of approaches, methodologies, and paradigms.
In our participatory action research (PAR) and youth participatory action research (YPAR) collaborations, we don't do studies on community members or young people, we do studies with them on issues of local importance. Moreover, we understand these projects to be growthful and educative for all parties involved. For example, in one of our longest PAR projects, we collaborated with older residents of New York’s Lower East Side:
Smith, L., Shenk, M., Tran, C., Poon, D., Wahba, R., & Voegtli, K. (in press). “There’s not a rug big enough to hide us under”: Participatory action research as anti-ageist psychological practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.
Through our qualitative work, we are able to bring the nuances of participants' own voices and insights to bear on our research questions via interview or focus group narratives. These narratives have offered important knowledge about the issues at the heart of our work and have come from a variety of participants, such as White antiracist activists and therapists working in the context of poverty:
Smith, L. & Redington, R. M. (2010). Lessons from the experiences of White antiracist activists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41, 541–549.
Smith, L., Li, V. , Dykema, S., Hamlet, D., & Shellman, A. (2013). “Honoring somebody that society doesn’t honor”: Therapists working in the context of poverty. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 69, 138-51.
These projects address research questions that can be addressed via the collection of statistically-analyzable data. For example, these two studies are part of the same team project in which we examined the different affective responses and moral judgments that are associated with people of different social class locations:
Smith, L., Baranowski, K., Allen, A., & Bowen, R. (2013). Poverty, crime seriousness, and the “politics of disgust.” Journal of Poverty, 375-393.
Smith, L., Allen, A., & Bowen, R. (2010). Expecting the worst: Exploring the associations between poverty and misbehavior. Journal of Poverty, 14, 33 – 54
We understand psychological principals, practices, and scholarship to have important implications for the broad public interest -- and vice versa. In our conceptual work, we analyze psychological research to discover its application to questions of social inclusion and equity, and we also analyze aspects of social inclusion/exclusion with regard to their implications for psychological practice. In this article, we discussed the relevance of youth participatory action research (YPAR) in the context of social marginalization, and also presented a snapshot of one of our YPAR projects:
Smith, L., Baranowski, K., Abdel-Salam, L., & McGinley, M. (In press). Youth participatory action research: Agency and unsilence as anti-classist practice. Translational Issues in Psychological Science.