Open Call for Papers: Cross-Cultural and International Issues in
cmaida at ucla.edu
Tue Oct 2 21:37:26 EDT 2007
A Special Issue of the International Journal of Self-Help and Self-
Care entitled “Cross-Cultural and International Issues in Self-Help/
Mutual Aid,” edited by Thomasina Borkman and a guest editor is
seeking one-page descriptions of manuscripts that focus on cross-
cultural and international research on self-help and mutual aid.
Self-help/mutual aid is being defined as voluntary (non-coerced and
non-professionalized) groups or organizations of self-governing
people who band together to resolve their common problem/issue
through experiential information, emotional support and sometimes
advocacy. Excluded from consideration are support groups controlled
by professionals including closed groups for which attendees are
charged fees. Microcredit or economic self-help groups for women’s
empowerment or self-help groups operating within NGOs (non-
governmental organizations) in developing countries are possible foci
as well as the more prevalent single-issue health and disability
groups/organizations in industrialized countries.
The purpose of this special issue is to broaden our understanding of
the range of contemporary self-help/mutual aid theoretically,
methodologically and empirically. Gidron & Chesler’s suggested
framework in 1994 for analyzing international and cross-cultural
research could be useful: what is universal and what is particular
about specific instances of self-help/mutual aid in various countries
(Prevention in Human Services, (Haworth Press, Inc.), vol.11, No. 1,
1994, pp. 1-44). Possible topics and methods could include but would
not be limited to:
Qualitative and quantitative research methods are equally welcome
Comparative research on self-help/mutual aid for the same illness/
condition in different countries or for different ethnic/racial groups
Relationships between self-help/mutual aid groups/organizations and
professionals, service agencies or government.
Historical, cultural, economic and social background and context that
shapes the expression of self-help/mutual aid in a country.
Theoretical formulations that explain such processes as recruitment
of members, leadership, change or outcomes.
Methodological challenges in studying mutual help in various settings.
Direct inquiries or email a one-page description by January 15, 2008
to: tborkman at gmu.edu. Authors invited to write papers will be
notified by February 28, 2008. Finished papers will be due June 30,
2008 and will be blind peer reviewed.
Thomasina Borkman, Editorial Board Member and Guest Editor
International Journal of Self-Help and Self-Care
Professor of Sociology, Emerita
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
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