The Society for the
Psychological
Study of Social Issues

    

Name, Credentials:  David W. Lewit, Ph.D.

Job Title:  System Change Activist

Company / Organization:  Alliance for Democracy

City, State:  Boston, MA

Website:  thealliancefordemocracy.org

Phone:  617-266-8687

Email:  dlewit@igc.org

Blog / Social Media:  newenglandalliance.org

Education: 

AB, Princeton University

MA, Stanford University

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

How long have you worked for your current company or organization?  19 years

What are your primary duties in this position?  The only formal position I have is Ombudsman.  But really what I do is organize conferences, write a special newsletter (BCA Dispatch, not the National one), link with other organizations, etc.  I decline to run for Council because i don't like internal politics or issue absorption.  "The issue is not issues; the issue is the system."

What do you enjoy about your work? What are the perks and drawbacks?  Modeling a better world, and taking steps to attain it.  Partnership with large social processes.  Perks? Freedom to do good stuff I believe in.  Working with the most creative people around.  Consolidating good ideas; putting them to work.  Drawbacks?  Living modestly and liking it (not a drawback).

Career path: how did you land this position? What do you see in your future career plans?  I read an article "Real Populists Stand Up" by Ronnie Dugger, contacted him, volunteered with him and a few others, started a local chapter, attended national initial convention (Texas), conducted meetings, targeted MAI (the TPP of 1996) and with 12 other Alliance members organized a high profile conference at Boston College,(MAI went down in flames two years later) etc etc.  I was not hired to do some preconceived job; rather all this is through individual initiative and group cooperation.  Future?  I've started writing a book---Liberation Psychology (embedding social psychological principles in full-scale social movements), and have found a young co-author to help and to move things along.

What career advice would you like to share with graduate students seeking careers in your field?  Beware corporate sponsorship.

Ways I am involved with SPSSI:   Network with other members; I am a Fellow of Div 9.

What is the importance of SPSSI for psychologists working outside of academia?  It could help with system-change projects like mine, requiring system thinking as with the post-WWII manifesto.  But there was no support following that manifesto.  It could reach out to sociologists (like Charles Derber), postmodern economists and political scientists (like Wm E Connolly), and philosophers (like John B Cobb, Jr.) and foster joint projects.


Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin