Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Seventh International Conference; Merida, Mexico; 2013

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #26
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Behavioral Systems Science for Constructing Peaceful Communities

Monday, October 7, 2013
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Yucatan II (Fiesta Americana)
Area: CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mark A. Mattaini, Ph.D.
Chair: Marco Wilfredo Salas-Martinez (University of Veracruz, Mexico)
MARK A. MATTAINI (Jane Addams College of Social Work-UIC)
Mark Mattaini, DSW, is an associate professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Editor of the journal Behavior and Social Issues, Dr. Mattaini is also the author/editor of 10 books, including PEACE POWER for Adolescents: Strategies for a Culture of Nonviolence (NASW Press), and Finding Solutions to Social Problems: Behavioral Strategies for Change (American Psychological Association, with Bruce Thyer), and more than 80 other publications. Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Mattaini has focused his research and practice on behavioral systems analysis for violence prevention with youth, and analyses of the dynamics of nonviolent struggle. His new book, Strategic Nonviolent Power: The Science of Satyagraha, published by Athabasca University Press and available in open access format online, analyzes potential contributions of behavioral systems science to nonviolent social action and civil resistance supporting justice and human rights. He also is consulting with the American Friends Service Committee on peace-building projects.

This presentation suggests that Israel Goldiamond's constructional approach can contribute to improvements in behavioral systems with profound social impact. The emphasis will be on contributions constructional behavioral systems analysis (BSA) can bring to understanding the dynamics of violence, and to supporting human rights through the construction of peaceful communities and social structures. (Similar analyses may be valuable in areas like achieving sustainable lifestyles, or constructing effective justice and policing systems.) Examples analyzed for current or potential contributions from constructional BSA will include: initiating and sustaining cultures of recognition and respect in schools; community action to construct peaceful neighborhoods in Chicago, IL, and North Charleston, S.C.; construction of cross-national cultures of youth activism for peace with the American Friends Service Committee; implementation of communitarian policing in Colombia; and sustainment of unity and nonviolent discipline in self-liberation movements globally. Some of these examples have explicitly incorporated BSA; others are well enough documented that probable systems dynamics can be extracted for further rigorous exploration. Both successes and struggles offer data that can contribute to our understanding of BSA, and crucially to campaigns for liberation from violence. Analytic tools from the author's recent book, Strategic Nonviolent Power, will be used throughout.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, graduate students, and anyone interested in contributions from constructional behavioral systems analysis.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants should be able to: --Define constructional behavioral systems analysis (BSA) and outline the contributions BSA can make to building peaceful communities. --Use two graphic tools to facilitate BSA at a community level. --Outline behavioral systems dynamics characterizing cultures of resistance to structural violence in communities.



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