Carl Danson

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Carl Danson

'Psychology and human services in Cuba: Personal perspectives'


In 1985 Alan S. Lowenthal, Carl Danson, Bonnie B. Lowenthal contributed an article "Psychology and human services in Cuba: Personal perspectives" to the Journal of Community Psychology Special Issue: Community Psychology in Cuba Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 105–116, April 1985.[1]

Article description

Through a series of meetings with Cuban social scientists, an analysis of the development and practices of psychology and related human services was attempted. Interviews were held at a medical school, at a local community health clinic, at a residential treatment facility and at one of the two universities in Cuba offering a degree program in psychology. The interviews revealed a network of interrelationships between: (a) work performance and a complex material and moral incentive system, where the workers played an active role in evaluating and modulating the system; (b) the health delivery system and its targeted community members, where services are adapted to the needs of the community; and (c) individuals and their neighborhoods, where local organizations are the mechanisms for community participation. It was concluded that a prime characteristic of Cuban society is to change the very nature of the relationships between people and their social institutions. Since community participation in social services is a growing concern within our own country, the Cuban system may provide reference points of note.