Strengthening Underprivileged Communities: Strengths-Based Approaches as a Force for Positive Social Change in Community Development

  • P. Alex LinleyEmail author
  • Avirupa Bhaduri
  • Debasish Sen Sharma
  • Reena Govindji


Positive psychology came about to redress the perceived imbalance in the focus of the psychology endeavour, which was perceived to be unduly weighted towards the negative side of human experience, with insufficient experience being paid to the positive. This nascent discipline was originally conceptualised as having three pillars of focus, namely, positive subjective experience (e.g. happiness), positive personal characteristics (e.g. strengths) and positive institutions (e.g. schools, organisations, communities that in some way applied the principles of positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).


Positive Psychology Character Strength Social Work Practice Slum Dweller Appreciative Inquiry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We each wish to acknowledge our deep gratitude and profound respect for the work of our friend and colleague, Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, the volume editor, whose work on positive psychology and poverty, including his field visits to Kolkata, provided the foundation on which The Strengths Project was established, and hence the basis on which this chapter was able to be written. Thank you, Robert, for your advocacy of the poor and underprivileged through positive psychology, and for your work as a Founding Trustee of The Strengths Project. We also acknowledge and thank our colleague Linda Woolston, who also serves with us as a Trustee of The Strengths Project. Finally, we wish to recognise the resilience and positivity of all those underprivileged communities with whom we have worked, and who continue to inspire us every day.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Alex Linley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Avirupa Bhaduri
    • 1
  • Debasish Sen Sharma
    • 1
  • Reena Govindji
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Applied Positive PsychologyCoventryUK

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