83 research outputs found

    Wearing shades in the bright future of digital media: Limitations of narratives of media power in Egyptian resistance

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    Political engagement means more than reliance on a single medium, but requires collective human action. In making this argument, I consider how the media landscape, along with social and political contexts, have contributed to this process of shifting political power in Egypt. This background contextualizes the limitations of a dominant Hollywood narrative in U.S. media, not only telling a reductive tale of hero, victim and villain, but also privileging the role of social media as an anthropomorphic heroic sidekick. Mediated communication can be valuable as a vehicle for mobilization and as a site for political contestation, but it is the access to the production and reception of knowledge that matters. In essence, the critical issue in political resistance is power, not technology

    Development Communication: Interpretations in Organizational Contexts

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    This study explores how organizational contexts guide and constrain development practitioners\u27 interpretations of development communication. The research focuses on questions surrounding the production of development communication, including: how practitioners understand and interpret development communication; and, how organizational contexts contribute,,to and constrain the production of development communication. An interpretive approach to organizational communication is used to build upon political-economic and systems approaches to the study of media industries and organizational behavior. Thirty-six members of international development organizations, including the United States Office of Population, Population Communication Services, United Nations Fund for Population Activities, International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region, and Oxfam America, were interviewed in-depth about their perceptions of development communication (including their activity, their audience, and the role of communication in addressing that audience), and their organizational contexts (including inter-organizational dynamics with their donors, recipients and reference groups, as well as intra-organizational conditions, decision making procedures). such as history, structure and Respondents perceived development communication as a tool to inform, educate or persuade (role of communication) groups of individuals or society (audience) who suffer as a result of individual deficiencies or macro-structural inadequacies (problem organizational activity is addressing). Patterns of interpretations were connected with dynamics within the studied organizational contexts, which embodied particular systemic relations with other organizations in environments. The process by which meanings underlying development communication are produced shapes and is shaped by practitioners\u27 interpretations of development communication. These interpretations, in turn, are bounded by the dynamics created and perpetuated by individuals as they interact within organizational contexts

    An Evidence Review of Gender-Integrated Interventions in Reproductive and Maternal-Child Health

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    Evidence-based behavior change interventions addressing gender dynamics must be identified and disseminated to improve child health outcomes. Interventions were identified from systematic searches of the published literature and a web-based search (Google and implementer's websites). Studies were eligible if an intervention addressed gender dynamics (i.e., norms, unequal access to resources), measured relevant behavioral outcomes (e.g., family planning, antenatal care, nutrition), used at least a moderate evaluation design, and were implemented in low- or middle-income countries. Of the 23 interventions identified, 22 addressed reproductive and maternal-child health behaviors (e.g., birth spacing, antenatal care, breastfeeding) that improve child health. Eight interventions were accommodating (i.e., acknowledged, but did not seek to change gender dynamics), and 15 were transformative (i.e., sought to change gender dynamics). The majority of evaluations (n=12), including interventions that engaged men and women to modify gender norms, had mixed effects. Evidence was most compelling for empowerment approaches (i.e., participatory action for maternal-child health; increase educational and economic resources, and modify norms to reduce child marriage). Two empowerment approaches had sufficient evidence to warrant scaling-up. Research is needed to assess promising approaches, particularly those that engage men and women to modify gender norms around communication and decision making between spouses

    Communicating Gender in Education Development

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    While women’s access to education and health services has been improving in most countries, clear disparities between women and men remain, particularly in terms of poverty and political rights. Although women are estimated to constitute 40% of the global workforce, women earn far less than men for the same positions, and are much less likely to be among the global political and economic elite. When women do accrue their wealth separately from familial networks, typically they do so through fame enabled by their commodification in global media industries. But for the vast majority not privileged with fame or fortune, gender inequities in education remain, along with the resulting loss of subsequent social, cultural, and financial capitals

    Emerging Issues in Communicating Development and Social Change

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    Communication for and about development, engaging intervention toward social change, integrates critical research with thoughtful practice towards social justice. Communicating about development builds on critical analyses of discourse in historical, structural, and social contexts. Key to current emerging themes in the field is attention to global conditions, including political as well as economic characteristics of structures. In this chapter, communicative discourse is positioned as critical rhetorical engagement situated within political‚Äźeconomic structures in historical and global contexts. Recognizing the contexts of the development industry and global conditions offers us a valuable first step in understanding these processes and their potentials. One key theme in emerging discourse on development highlights attention to sustainability. Social justice represents another emerging trend, building on attention to equity in distribution of resources, capitals, and rights

    Japanese approaches to development communication

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    Development communication literature neglects attention to Japanese approaches to development practice as a prominent donor institution. Based on a series of interviews and document reviews, this analysis characterizes how Japanese development projects use communication technologies to address a variety of development goals. Moreover, this research explores how this development discourse constructs social problems, beneficiaries, and appropriate solutions. Japan’s development communication approaches can be seen as resonating with a modernization paradigm, emphasizing the importance of the private sector, along with attention to national development strategies, national identity, and technological innovation. However, there are some important distinctions between Japanese and western approaches: Japanese approaches tend to privilege process over outcomes in development practices, to consider structural and social over individual issues in addressing social problems, and to resist social marketing and other campaign strategies in communication projects. If development communication as a field is to extend beyond its limited origins, it is imperative that scholars attempt to understand how other donors and communities are engaging in strategic intervention. Although development communication may be well ensconced in western communication literature, this field appears much more amorphous in other cultural contexts. Currently conceived in English-language publications as the intentional use of communication technologies and processes in strategic social change, development communication carries with it the historical experiences of western ventures into foreign aid. The disjuncture between western definitions and alternative approaches seems ironic in a field purportedly designed t

    Advocacy Communication for and about Women

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    Advocacy communication builds on a critical understanding of the public sphere, not as an idealized pluralistic space, but as a site for struggle and resistance. Based on the understanding that power dynamics facilitate different potentials for domination and resistance, strategic advocacy builds on multiple sources of capital, including human, social and cultural, as well as financial and political resources. Academic work on development and social change is beginning to incorporate the need to pay attention to social and political movements as they compete for attention and work to change leadership and policies and to motivate people. At the heart of this approach to intervention is recognition that social justice is central to development work. This chapter connects advocacy communication in development and social change to emerging frameworks in the public sphere. After a theoretical exposition, I explore how this approach works in relation to advocating both for and about women’s rights in the global development industry
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