Core Faculty, M.Ed. Program in Community Development & Action
Founding Director, Center for Community Studies; Coordinator, International Communities Work Group
B.A., Swarthmore College, Psychology; M.A., Ph.D., New York University, Community Psychology (successor program)
Dr. Perkins’ research links community, environmental, and applied social psychology to other disciplines in focusing on participation and empowerment in grassroots organizations to improve public policy making. Problems his research, teaching, and consultation have addressed include neighborhood revitalization, housing, youth violence, crime, fear and social capital (sense of community, neighboring, networks) and disorder in urban community settings in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and China. He studies and works with voluntary associations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies responding to such problems, at all levels but especially local government. His conceptual orientation stresses ecological systems frameworks and multiple levels of analysis (individuals, organizations, communities). His populations of interest include neighborhood residents and leaders, the disenfranchised, low-income, minorities, and at risk youths.
Teaching Philosophy and Methods
Dr. Perkins’ teaching philosophy and methods (class size permitting) emphasize a participatory seminar format, collegial atmosphere, and relevant and experiential learning. He was awarded the Borchard Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship at the University of Utah and encourages students to go off campus and focus on the real world. His students look at the community settings they live and work in and identify real-life social or environmental issues affecting them and then study and try to solve them systematically.
Professional Affiliations and Service:
- Society for Community Research & Action
- Community Development Society
- Urban Affairs Association
- World Relief-Nashville Advisory Board
- Nashville Urban Design Forum
- Nashville Community Coalition for Youth Safety
- Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core & Community Research Partners
Copyright © 2011, Douglas D. Perkins. All rights reserved. Updated: 2 October, 2011