[URBANTH-L] Open Call for Papers: Cross-Cultural and International Issues in Self-Help/Mutual Aid

Carl Maida 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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