I4P Public Lecture – Professor Carolyn Kagan, Manchester Metropolitan University

16th Feb 2016, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

Carolyn kagan

Disruptive change: a social good or a waste of people’s lives?

During this talk Professor Kagan will reflect on some of the themes running through her work as a community social psychologist since the mid-1970’s, largely from a University base, but always in partnership and collaboration with those most affected by the wider social forces and policy changes.

She will draw on work which has included people with learning difficulties and their families; people living poverty; the nature of work and its fit with family and community; arts and human flourishing; people living amongst urban regeneration; community organising and people on the brink of forced labour.

Throughout this period there have been disruptive changes that have improved some people’s lives and changed social attitudes: they have changed me and those around me.  There have also been disruptive changes that have ruined people’s lives and threatened the heart of a collective commitment to social welfare and wellbeing.

Dominating this period has been the growth of individualism, as both a key ideology underpinning neoliberalism and the mechanisms of globalisation and a cultural value. Professor Kagan will suggest that the current crises with which we are faced require the re-assertion of stewardship as an alternative value, and will explore what this might mean for community practice and for disruptive change for the social good.


  • 3.30pm – Registration and Refreshments
  • 4.00pm – Lecture
  • 5.00pm – Reception and Networking


Carolyn Kagan, Visiting Professor, Edge Hill University is a community psychologist and both a registered Counselling Psychology and qualified social worker. She worked at Manchester Metropolitan University from 1976 to 2014 most recently as Professor of Community Social Psychology and Director of the Research Institute for Health and Social Change. She now holds an Emerita position there.

Her work and publications have ranged from the contextual nature of interpersonal skills, to organisation and community development. From 1987-1996 she was seconded out of the University half time to work in the North West Training and Development team, a small consultancy team facilitating the closure of long stay ‘Mental Handicap’ hospitals and the growth of community living for people with learning difficulties.

She has, with others founded various voluntary sector organisations and currently holds office with Just Psychology, From Generation to Generation (with Intergen), Friends of Hough End Hall, the Richard Benjamin Trust and the British Psychological Society Community Psychology Section.

She has an international reputation for championing university-community collaborative working, participative research and innovative curriculum development, and developed the first Masters programme in Community Psychology in the UK. She has held visiting academic posts in Australia and Mexico and has worked with colleagues on projects in India, Uganda, and different Latin American countries.

Further information can be found here

Presented by the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice


This event is part of a wider programme of events taking place at Edge Hill over the coming months as part of the Festival of Ideas 2016, a diverse range of events exploring culture, health and society. The main theme is Imagining Better – envisioning ways for communities, arts and healthcare to develop and flourish, even in times of austerity and inequality.

Details of all events can be found here