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Participatory Communication

Jan Servaes

Subject Communication Studies » Communication and Development

Key-Topics community, democracy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Participatory communication stresses the importance of cultural identity of local communities and of democratization and participation at all levels – international, national, local, and individual. However, the point of departure must be the community. It is at the community level that the problems of living conditions are discussed, and interactions with other communities are elicited ( Servaes 1999 ; 2003 ). It points to a strategy, not merely inclusive of, but largely emanating from, the traditional “receivers” (→  Models of Communication ). Paulo Freire (1983 , 76) refers to this as the right of all people to individually and collectively speak their word: “This is not the privilege of some few men, but the right of every (wo)man. Consequently, no one can say a true word alone – nor can he say it for another, in a prescriptive act which robs others of their words” (→  Freedom of Communication ). In order to share →  Information , knowledge, trust, commitment, and a right attitude, participatory communication is very important. The International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, chaired by Sean MacBride, argued that “this calls for a new attitude for overcoming stereotyped thinking and to promote more understanding of diversity and plurality, with full respect for the dignity and equality of peoples living in different conditions and acting in different ways” ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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