Communcation for Social Change in a Larger Context

Seen broadly, communication for social change (CSC) is directly or indirectly connected to a myriad of issues-- from the basic and yet deliberately ignored right to communicate to the controversial and heated debates on intellectual property rights....

Seen broadly, communication for social change (CSC) is directly or indirectly connected to a myriad of issues-- from the basic and yet deliberately ignored right to communicate to the controversial and heated debates on intellectual property rights. These issues either help shape or are being shaped by the discipline. In some ways they also give a new face and add value to CSC.

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 Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

Communication for Social Change Glossary

A postgraduate researcher compiled a collection of key CSC terms including development, dialogue, access, diffusion, ICT4D....

 
1. Access- effective exercise of the right to receive messages (Beltran 2006, p. 168)
 
In the information and communication technology (ICT4D) literature this refers to access to technologies such as the Internet, computers and other ICT infrastructure.
 
2. Community audio tower (CAT)- a narrowcasting technology usually used in rural areas for community broadcasting. In Davao del Norte in the Philippines, volunteer broadcasters from the community broadcast information on agriculture, health and nutrition, child protection and other issues relevant to the community (Gumucio-Dagron 2009).
 
3. Community/development broadcasting-  Development broadcasting and telecommunication involves the use of radio, television and telecommunication for non-formal education purposes primarily to support planned social change in a developing country. The intention is to promote human development consciously through these communication technologies to help people diagnose their problems and clarify their objectives so that they may be able to more wisely make their decisions and mobilize themselves for social action (CDC 2011).
 
4. Community radio broadcasting- low-power and limited-reach broadcasting stations directed by foundations and by non-profit community associations (Wimmer and Pieranti 2009, p.353).
 
5. Communications commons- The commons is a term that was used to describe all physical spaces that are public property – for instance the air we breathe, the sea, parks and the like (lecture notes).
 
6. Communication for development- is the systematic design and use of participatory activities, communication approaches, methods and media to share information and knowledge among all stakeholders in a rural development process in order to ensure mutual understanding and consensus leading to action. The aim is to facilitate people’s participation at all levels of the development effort to identify and implement appropriate policies, programmes and technologies to prevent and reduce poverty in order to improve people’s livelihood in a sustainable way (Chike et al 2004, p.10).
 
7. Communication for social change- refers to an intentional communication that is used to bring about some form or other of sustainable change in society – in its values, structures, leading to a qualitative change in a community’s life chances (lecture notes).
 
8. Communication need- is both natural individual demand and a requirement of social existence to use communication resources in order to engage in the sharing of experiences through symbol-mediated interaction ( Beltran 2006, p. 168).
 
9. Communication resource-is any energy, matter, element—cognitive, affective or physical-usable to make possible the exchange of symbols among human beings. ( Beltran 2006, p. 168).
 
10. Communication right- is the natural entitlement of every human being to emit and receive messages, intermittently or concurrently ( Beltran 2006, p. 168).
 
11. Community media- Maslog et al (1997, p.3) has identified eight characteristics of community media. They are owned and controlled by people in the community; usually smaller and low cost; provides interactive two-way communication; nonprofit and autonomous, therefore, non-commercial; has limited coverage or reach; utilizes appropriate, indigenous materials and resources; reflects community needs and interests and its programs or content support community development.
 
12. ‘Cyberprotest’/cyberactivism/online activism- refers to a variety of computer-mediated, net-based struggles directed towards reclaiming public space, public control, over our informational and non-informational futures (lecture notes).
- a politically motivated movement relying on the Internet. The scenario is fairly simple: Activists now advantage of the technologies and techniques offered by the Internet to achieve their traditional goals. Online activism is comprised of proactive actions to achieve a certain goal or of reactive actions against controls and the authorities imposing them (Vegh 2003, p.72).
 
13. Design-reality gap- is a model that tackles the relevance of the design with the prevailing realities in the community (Ortiz 2008; Heeks 2010; eGov for Development 2010). Say for example, if automated election is implemented in a place where there is not enough manpower who knows how to operate computers and low level of literacy then there is wide design-reality gap.
 
14. Development- in the classic sense is a goal and a type of social change that leads to improved living conditions (lecture notes).
 
15. Dependency theory-  it talks about reasons for underdevelopment of many societies in relation to their ties with developed (metropolis) countries. One of its key thinkers is Alexander Gundre Frank. He has three formulations regarding dependency theory :
a.       In contrast to the development of the world metropolis, which is no one’s satellite, the development of the national and other subordinate metropoles is limited by their satellite status.
b.      The satellites experience their greatest economic development and especially their most classically capitalist industrial development if and when their ties to their metropolis are weakest, and
c.      The regions that re the most developed today are the ones which had the closest ties to the metropolis in the past (Melkote and Steeves 2009).
 
16. Development communication- The art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfillment of the human potential (Quebral 2006, p.101).
 
17. Dialogue -is the effective exercise of the right to concurrently receive and emit messages (Beltran 2006, p.168).
 
18. Diffusion- the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. It is a special type of communication, in that the messages are concerned with new ideas (Rogers 1991, p.5).
 
19. Digital divide- simply the gap between those who had access to digital and information technology and those who did not. But recently, researchers have found that digital divide is actually multiole divides brought about by individual motivation, ICT-relevant skills, and the presence of opportunities to put ICT to use (Levy and Banerjee 2008, p. 310).
 
20. Digital provide- refers to the spillover benefits enjoyed by those who do not have access to ICTs from those who have access to them (Heeks 2010)
 
21. Empiricism- an approach that claims that all knowledge is a product of human experience also belongs to a specific epistemological tradition (lecture notes).
 
22. Epistemology- refers to a theory of knowledge that justifies true belief. For example Marxian dialectics, historical materialism is the basis for a specific type of knowledge on social change (lecture notes).
 
23. FOSS- Free and Open Source Software, is a part of the Free Software Movement (FSM) devoted to developing software on a shared basis for the common good. Linux (developed by Linus Torvalds), an independent and free operating software, is one of the most popular products of this movement. FSM adheres to four freedoms:
a.       The freedom to run the program for any purpose
b.      The freedom to study how the program works and, adapt it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
c.       The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
d.      The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for this (Unwin 2009, p. 115).
 
24. Hacktivism- activism gone electronic (Jordan 2009, p. 1).
 
25. (Horizontal) communication- is the process of democratic social interaction, based upon exchange of symbols by which human beings voluntarily share experiences under conditions of free and egalitarian access, dialogue and participation. Everyone has the right to communicate in order to satisfy communication needs by enjoying communication resources (L.S. Harms, p.100 as cited by Beltran 2006, p. 168); two-way (Dakroury et al 2009, p. 4).
 
26ICT4D- Information and communication technology for development. It is the deliberate use of different ICTs such as the Internet and mobile phones for development. Some scholars refer to ICT4D as ICTs with moral agenda (Unwin 2009, p. 33).
 
27. Ideology- a theoretical concept from Marxist thought, usually refers to the social relations of signification or representation, in that these relations are connected to social location and economic class (Melkote and Steeves 2009, p. 91).
 
28. Indymedia- an exemplar of cyberspace networking made up of media activitsts. It started in the WTO meeting in Seattle where journalists, computer programmers, academics came together to give an alternative take on the issues being discussed. They arranged to interview activists like Walden Bello, which would not have been possible in the mainstream media. Their slogan is “everyone is a journalist”. There are now thousands of Indymedia websites worldwide.
 
29. Lifeworld- the relations and communications between members of a societal community (Caroll and Hackett 2006, p.96).
 
30. McDonaldization- the uniformity in the food being served in most parts of the world as a result of monoculturalisation (Hamelink, 1994, p. 111).
 
31. Media imperialism- The process whereby the ownership, structure, distribution or content of the media in any one country are singly or together subject to substantial external pressures from the media interests of any other country or countries without proportionate reciprocation of influence by the country so affected (Barrett 1977,p. 117 as cited by Servaes 1999, p. 35)
 
Four mechanisms of imperialism (Galtung 1980 as cited by Servaes 1999, p. 36): Exploitation, penetration through a bridgehead (i.e. the peripheral elite), fragmentation and marginalisation.
 
32Media reform- structures and processes, media employment, the financing of media, content, media law, media ownership, access to media . . .” (Media Development, 2004, p.2).
 
33. Modernisation- is based on liberal political theory and is therefore grounded in the grand project of “Enlightenment”, namely reasoning, rationality, objectivity, and other philosophical principles of Western science. However, more recent neo-classical economic theories extol scientific rationality and individualism. Economic growth via the Western model of adopting a capitalistic economic system, building up formal infrastructure, and acquiring technologies is prioritized (Melkote and Steeves, p. 71).
 
34.Multiplicity paradigm- says that there is no universal model for development. Each society must develop its own strategy (Servaes 1999, p. 271)
 The basic assumption of this paradigm is that there are no countries that function completely autonomously and that are completely self-sufficient, nor are there any nations whose development is exclusively determined by external factors. Every society is dependent in one way or another both in form and in degree (Servaes 1989, p.31)
 
Six criteria essential for “another development”: basic needs, endogeny, self-reliance, ecology, participative democracy and structural changes (Servaes 1989, p.50)  
 
35. New social movements- NSM holds that struggles over identity are the major struggles of the contemporary society (Caroll and Heckett 2006). The theme is to challenge the dominant codes, to make life better, more just, more acceptable. The strength of NSMs is the formation of collective identities strengthened through networks, that is, how a collective becomes a collective (Caroll and Hackett 2006).
 
36. Ontology- the theory of being – who am I, why am I, what is truth, what is the good life, who is God – that is at the root of all cultural and metaphysical explanations.
 
37. Open Publishing – one of the legacies of Indymedia that basically enables anyone who is connected to contribute to the creation of an on-line document, be it visual or text forms (lecture notes).
 
38. Participation- the effective exercise of the right to emit messages (Beltran 2006, p. 168).
 
39. Participatory culture (in the network society)- is a term that is often used to talk about the apparent link between more accessible digital technologies, user-created content, and some kind of shift in the power relations between media industries and their consumers (Jenkins 2006 as cited by Burgess and Green 2009, p. 10).
 
40. Participatory development communication- is a two-way dynamic interaction, which through dialogue transforms grassroots people and enables them to become fully engaged in the process of development and become self-reliant (White and Nair 1999, p. 36).
 
41. Participatory paradigm- the roots of this paradigm can be traced back to the works of the Brazilian pedagogist Paulo Freire which says it is impossible to alienate man from his own reasoning, and that man (sic) should be the key actor (sic) in his (sic) own development
-          ‘as that type of communication in which all the interlocutors are free and have equal access to the means to express their viewpoints, feelings and experiences. Collective action aimed at promoting their interests, solving their problems and transforming society is the means to an end’ (Juan 2006, p. 426)
 
42. Participatory Rural Appraisal- it started to become popular in the 1980s as a research method trying to reach a balance between researchers’ needs to be scientific in their approach and the communities’ rights to participate in activities concerning their own well-being (Chambers 1993 as cited by Mefalopulos 2008, p. 53). By spending extended periods of time in the community, PRA researchers are expected to better understand and pay closer attention to the needs and problems identified and defined by the community (Mefalopulos 2008, p. 53).
 
Participatory Rural Appraisal or Participatory Learning and Action- commonly used to facilitate public and community participation in development projects (Moose 1994 as cited by Lloyd-Evans 2006, p. 156). They offer an effective tool in communicating research agendas and findings with communities in order to encourage groups to take ownership of the research agenda (Lloyd-Evans 2006, p.156)
 
43. Public sphere- the space where public opinion is formed, where the public organises itself for instance the space for the anti-war movement (lecture notes).
 
44. Resource mobilisation- examines the organisational and business aspects of a social movement (Hackett and Adam 1999; Thomas 2006).
 
45Right to communicate- first forwarded by Jean D’ Arcy in 1969 by saying that “there will come a time when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will have to encompass a more extensive right than man’s (sic) to information... This is the right of men (sic) to communicate. “ (p.293). Protagonists say there is a need to view communication as an interactive process ... the essence of the right would be based on the observation that that communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organization. The recognition of this right would also imply a strong ethical basis for resource rich countries to share resources with poorer countries (Hamelink 1994, p.293-4).
 
46. Right to communication-encompasses three rights: the right to know, the right to impart and the right to discuss. The right to know- to be given, and to seek out in such ways as he (sic) may choose, the information that he (sic) desires, especially when in affects his (sic) life and work and the decisions he (sic) may have to take, on his (sic) own account or as a member of the community. Whenever information is deliberately withheld, or when false or distorted information is spread, this right is infringed. The right to impart- to give to others the truth as he (sic) sees it about his (sic) living conditions, his (sic) aspirations, his (sic) needs and grievances. Whenever he (sic) is silenced by intimidation or punishment, or denied access to the channels of the communication, this right is infringed. The right to discuss- communication should be open-ended process of response, reflection and debate. This right secures genuine agreement on collective action, and enables the individual to influence decisions made by those in authority (Macbride Commission 2004, p. 113).
 
47. Right to information- the right to be kept informed of whatever might affect his [citizen’s] (sic) daily life, help him (sic) to make decisions, and contribute to his (sic) thinking. The scope of this right to information broadened as new techniques gave improved access to information on a nationwide and then a worldwide scale. The other aspect of this freedom was the journalist’s freedom to acquire knowledge in the shape of facts and documents, clearning away the secrecy in which the conduct of political affairs had beeen shrouded, and the freedom to pucblish the information that he (sic) obtained (Macbride Commission 2004, p. 20).
 
48. Social change- refers to the transformations that take place in society, gradual and dramatic that leads to visible alterations in structures and functions in a society. Social change is long term. The change affects whole communities. It implies progress from a less equal state to a more equal state, change that affects key sectors in society including the marginalized (lecture notes).
 
49. Social marketing- is the use of commercial marketing techniques to promote the adoption of a behaviour that will improve the health or well-being of the target audience or of society as a whole. These are the same methods that a company such as Coca-Cola uses to sell its soft drinks—a focus on its consumers, market research, and a systematic process for developing a marketing program. The key characteristic that distinguishes social marketing from commercial marketing is its purpose; that is the benefits accrue to the individual or society rather than to the marketer’s organization (Weinrich 1999 pp. 3-4).
 
50Technological determinism-this refers to the assumption of the constructive powers of ICTs under whatever conditions and in whatever environment (Hamelink 2004, p.287).
 
51.Underdevelopment- backwardness, undifferentiation and ruralism (Melkote and Steeves 2009).
 
52.Vertical flow of communication- similar to top-down communication, not interactive, there is just one source of information, one-way.

Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

 

Development Communication

Increasing attention is being given to development communication (DevComm) in development initiatives worldwide. What is development communication? Why is there a need for it? The following readings will help the reader better understand development...

Increasing attention is being given to development communication (DevComm) in development initiatives worldwide. What is development communication? Why is there a need for it? The following readings will help the reader better understand development communication. It will introduce the reader to the pioneers of this field, heated debates and phases of development paradigms—when did these paradigms experience their glorious days and why did some of them have to pass. The reader will meet some of the world’s most notable scholars in DevComm, and hopefully be thrilled, intrigued, and intellectually engaged by their writings. DevComm is an evolving discipline. It is not static. Hence, it is hoped that these readings will encourage readers to reflect on and contribute towards enriching the development communication field.

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Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

Emerging Paradigms

Times are changing, so are the communication for social change paradigms. In recent years, the world has witnessed the fastest transfomations brought about by advancements in communications technology. People are increasingly mobile and urban. Geogr...

Times are changing, so are the communication for social change paradigms. In recent years, the world has witnessed the fastest transfomations brought about by advancements in communications technology. People are increasingly mobile and urban. Geographical, political and social landscapes are changing. All of these have impact on the way we communicate. These changes have posed valid questions to the existing paradigms in communication for social change. Where is the discipline headed? What are the prospects that have accrued from the changing times? What kind of social change can we expect from all this? Are we to experience a more just world anytime soon? The following readings will introduce the reader to the emerging paradigms in communication for social change. Some of them have already gained some followers albeit needing more support in the academic circle. 

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Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

ICTs and Social Change

Some time in the 1990s, scholars’ writings on ICTs’ role in social change have mushroomed. Some studies have noted scholarly publications on information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) dominate the development disco...

Some time in the 1990s, scholars’ writings on ICTs’ role in social change have mushroomed. Some studies have noted scholarly publications on information and communications technology for development (ICT4D) dominate the development discourse these days. The following readings will introduce the reader to the issues related to using ICTs for development; case studies which feature success stories, challenges and opportunities in employing use of ICT for development and the politics embedded in the ICT4D discourse. The following readings are expected to encourage readers to critically assess ICTs especially in the light of some overrated claims saying that they are a panacea.  

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Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

Methods

Disciplines are never made to exist in a vacuum. The rich theoretical writings on communication for social change must be matched with ways on how to actually implement them on field. The following readings discuss in detail the how- tos of differen...

Disciplines are never made to exist in a vacuum. The rich theoretical writings on communication for social change must be matched with ways on how to actually implement them on field. The following readings discuss in detail the how- tos of different CFSC approaches and methods with emphasis on their strengths and limitations. They are easy to read even to the newcomers on this field. Authors in this collection, who are established professionals in their respective fields, developed the sourcebooks from real world experiences, which add colour to the already interesting knowledge products.  

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Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

New Technologies for Social Change

Some scholars have noted that online platforms significantly contribute to the battle towards more democratic forms of communication. Recently, the world has witnessed the social networking sites revolution. Millions are on Facebook and Twitter&mdas...

Some scholars have noted that online platforms significantly contribute to the battle towards more democratic forms of communication. Recently, the world has witnessed the social networking sites revolution. Millions are on Facebook and Twitter—shouting out their thoughts to the world, posting videos and photos. It is very easy for anyone to become a message source these days. The following readings introduce the readers to the different forms of new technologies that are being used for social change. Readers can also peek on the operations of the cyberactivists and the hacktivists. Some criticise the brand of activism they are espousing to be weaker and less passionate than the traditional forms of activism. At any rate, they are already here, and are increasingly being felt.   

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Compiled by Jaime Manalo February 2011

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