Beyond Borders: An Interdisciplinary Approach for the Advancement of Social Justice

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Over the past two decades, positive psychology has significantly advanced the science of well-being, pushing the field to the forefront of psychological scholarship on human flourishing. However, little work has been done within the discipline to explore the role of justice in our ability to thrive individually and collectively. Although this topic takes up a small amount of space within psychological literature relative to other indicators of wellness, overwhelming research suggests that justice is intricately laced to well-being. This paper attempts to build bridges toward the advancement of positive psychology as a social justice-oriented discipline. Through the examination of theory, research, and application within and across various disciplines of psychology, we can develop a more robust understanding of the role of justice in human flourishing. Drawing upon these interdisciplinary insights, suggestions are made as to how positive psychology can become an instrument for social justice. I posit that not only is positive psychology uniquely positioned to address and advance social justice, but it has the responsibility to do so. As a discipline concerned with the well-being of individuals, communities, and society at large, cultivating a more just world aligns with positive psychology’s mission, purpose, and identity.


Social justice, social change, well-being, positive psychology, community psychology


Well-being/Flourishing, Other Topics


Literature review

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Date Posted: 22 September 2020