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Saving the World

Saving the World: A Brief History of Communication for Development and Social Change

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Saving the World
    Book Description:

    This far-reaching and long overdue chronicle of communication for development from a leading scholar in the field presents in-depth policy analyses to outline a vision for how communication technologies can impact social change and improve human lives. Drawing on the pioneering works of Daniel Lerner, Everett Rogers, and Wilbur Schramm as well as his own personal experiences in the field, Emile G. McAnany builds a new, historically cognizant paradigm for the future that supplements technology with social entrepreneurship._x000B__x000B_McAnany summarizes the history of the field of communication for development and social change from Truman's Marshall Plan for the Third World to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Part history and part policy analysis, Saving the World argues that the communication field can renew its role in development by recognizing large aid-giving institutions have a difficult time promoting genuine transformation. McAnany suggests an agenda for improving and strengthening the work of academics, policy makers, development funders, and any others who use communication in all of its forms to foster social change.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09387-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. INTRODUCTION: Communication in the Lives of the Globe
    (pp. 1-8)

    Over the past sixty years, the globe has expanded its population from 2.6 billion people to more than 7 billion. It has increased the number of independent countries from 80 to 193. It has increased international trade from billions of dollars to trillions. The number of television sets has grown from practically none in 1950 to 1.4 billion, with audiences of close to half of the global population. In many ways, the world, like the universe, seems to be expanding in all directions, with more people, more countries, more trade, more media, and certainly more problems if one attends to...

  6. CHAPTER ONE Saving the World: Beginnings of Communication for Development
    (pp. 9-28)

    The first years of our third millennium have revived the old hopes and dreams of helping people overcome poverty, discrimination, and the other ills that plague people everywhere as embodied in the Millennium Development Goals: the hopes for cures for HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis; reduction of child mortality and illiteracy; stopping the degradation of the environment; increasing rights for women; and the dreams of reducing global poverty by half by 2015 and bringing all nations to minimum levels of economic growth. These were all stated as Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations in 2000 and restated in 2005. What had...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Globalization, Discourse, and Development Communication: UNESCO as Prime Mover
    (pp. 29-46)

    The question that most critics of the so-called dominant paradigm of modernization and diffusion in c4d do not ask is: how did this approach became dominant in the first place, and who really created it? A partial answer has been briefly outlined in chapter 1. There have been ideological explanations that do not really answer the question in detail but simply state that the approach is part of a capitalist strategy to capture markets or, from a similar perspective, a simple expression of the technological and political power of advanced nations. Then there is the ideological power of the media...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Communication for Development: Does It Work?
    (pp. 47-65)

    One of the problems with development theory is the practice that follows from it. The founders of the dominant paradigm were later criticized as being too optimistic about positive results, and later critics argued that anyway, most c4d projects fail. Even an early proponent and successful practitioner of c4d, Robert Hornik, could say in 1988, “There are in the developing world several thousand educational programs now operating that use communication technology to reach their objective. . . . Given the available data . . . we can assume that most of them fail” (14 [emphasis added]). Yet he argues that...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Rethinking the Paradigm: The Dependency Phase
    (pp. 66-86)

    In the received wisdom of our field, the 1970s and early 1980s are often seen as the critical and structuralist phase of c4d (Manyozo 2007; Beltran 2005; Gumucio-Dagron and Tufte 2006). But the problem with this historically is that it is not as easy to change paradigms as a quick look backward may suggest. The changes in the academic discourse can more easily be traced, as evidence in this chapter may show, but a change in a paradigm is more challenging since it is a guiding ideological and policy structure that operates in institutional practice. The academic discussions in journals...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Another Paradigm: Participatory Communication
    (pp. 87-105)

    In some ways, people’s participation in their own development is hard to define, but it is an idea that goes back to the beginning of communication for development and social change. What the 1980s ushered in was not so much a creation of a new approach as a natural progression of an idea that had always been part of the process but never been given the prominence that it had deserved. But the novelty, and perhaps irony, of this approach was that it defined participation of people in their own development as an essential component in an era of increasing...

  11. CHAPTER SIX Paradigm for a New Millennium: Social Entrepreneurship
    (pp. 106-123)

    Much of the thinking about development over the past fifty years or more has been promoted by national governments, large foundations, and the UN system. The participatory paradigm has idealized a bottom-up approach where people would be empowered to take matters into their own hands, improve local conditions, and change the system from below. There is much to like about the idea, except the fact that there are so few examples that show how this would happen on a wide scale. The critique of participation is that it can be hard to do without the development community to pay for...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN Past, Present, and Future: An Agenda for 2015 and Beyond
    (pp. 124-143)

    This chapter moves beyond the historical treatment of where c4d has come from and now asks what this history has to teach us, what lessons and applications are needed for the future. The lessons included in this chapter are my own conclusions, but I would hope that readers will draw their own lessons that lead to actions to improve the practice of communication for development and social change. The book has described the ways in which different paradigms or approaches to c4d have over time shifted in both theory and practice. The cases presented throughout the chapters were a way...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT The Future: Some Final Thoughts
    (pp. 144-156)

    The Web-based start-up company Kiva ( began operations in 2005 with an idea: how to get people involved in contributing to change in developing countries. In former times, it was UNICEF Christmas cards that did this fund-raising. Kiva did things differently for several reasons. First, it asked people not for donations, but for modest loans that would be repaid. Second, it was using Web technology to solicit loans over the internet, making the transaction more efficient and painless with a few clicks. Third, it used an appeal that television ads for nonprofits had used for decades by making it personal:...

    (pp. 157-168)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 169-182)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 183-187)