Family Tree

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FAMILY TREE OF THEORIES, METHODOLOGIES AND STRATEGIES IN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATION Silvio Waisbord, PhD Prepared for The Rockefeller Foundation INTRODUCTION This report presents a family tree of theories, concepts, methodologies and strategies for change in the field of development communication. It presents a chronological evolution and comparison of approaches and findings. The goal of this report is to clarify the understandings and the uses of the most influential theories, strategies, and techniques. Theory refers to sets of concepts and propositions that articulate relations among variables to explain and predict situations and results. Theories explain the nature and causes of a given problem and provide guidelines for…show more content…
While one position has argued that the problem was largely due to lack of information among populations, the other one suggested that power inequality was the underlying problem. Because the diagnoses were different, recommendations were different, too. Running the risk of overgeneralization, it could be said that theories and intervention approaches fell in different camps on the following points: Cultural vs. environmental explanations for underdevelopment. Psychological vs. socio-political theories and interventions. Attitudinal and behavior models vs. structural and social models. Individual vs. community-centered interventions development. Hierarchical and sender-oriented vs. horizontal and participatory communication models. Active vs. passive conceptions of audiences and populations. Participation as means vs. participation as end approaches. These divergences are explored in the examination of theories and approaches below. THE DOMINANT PARADIGM Behavior change models have been the dominant paradigm in the field of development communication. Different theories and strategies shared the premise that problems of development were basically rooted in lack of knowledge and that, consequently, interventions needed to provide people with information to change behavior. The early generation of development communication studies was dominated by modernization theory. This
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