Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Michelle Fine

Committee Members

David Chapin

Michael Lamb

Bijan Kimiagar

Tomoaki Imamichi

Subject Categories

Other Psychology | Social Justice | Urban Studies and Planning


Gentrification, Climate change, Epistemology, Pedagogy, Hermeneutical Injustice, Belonging


What is the role of the psychologist during times of gentrification, climate change, and inequity? Using Hall & Massey’s (2010) term conjunctural crisis, or the overlapping of multiple disasters that bleed into each other, I argue that psychologists have a responsibility to combat social inequity and work towards tangible strategies in collaboration with communities to dismantle structures of oppression. In times of gentrification and climate change, I argue that psychologists must play a role in promoting public science, a praxis of research committed to applying social science with communities in order to work towards social justice and build a more just world (Stoudt et al 2019). In conversation with examples from my own experiences in two sites of research, teaching, and community work, I reflect on the lived tensions that psychologists must navigate and mediate with communities to combat hermeneutical injustice (Fricker 2004). Across each of these two sites, I apply pedagogical workshops, visual analysis, and discourse analysis with communities to combat erasure by collectively analyzing our own narratives and images of being and belonging. Through meditations on notions of hereness/thereness, I present and contextualize critical obstacles facing the psychologist’s role in public science. To further aid the psychologist, I outline an epistemology of hereness, an epistemological stance that helps situate the psychologist within historical contexts, intersections of power and oppression, and local communities. By locating the psychologist within the contexts, intersections and communities of “here,” I provide one strategy to work with communities in times of crisis in (re)defining the role of the psychologist, creating narratives and images of be(long)ing, and (re)imagining a more equitable world.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Monday, September 30, 2024

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