Professor, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University
In Organizing for Social Change, one rediscovers the value of dialectics within a theoretically complex story of empowerment and transformation that is told in a very personal tone with careful attention to detail' - "Patrice M Buzzanell, Professor, Department of Communication, Purdue University
Scholars and practitioners will find this book theoretically sound, methodologically rigorous, and rich with poignant narratives. The book models engaged scholarship; it is truly refreshing to encounter scholarship that matters to various stakeholders, academic and otherwise' - "Lynn M. Harter
Assistant Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University
Conventionally, analysts of social change perceive organizational initiatives in binary terms: for instance, projects are seen as being either top-down or bottom-up; local culture is seen as being either modern or traditional. Challenging this restrictive dualistic sentiment, this important book argues that social change emerges in a nonlinear, circuitous and dialectic process of struggle between competing poles of action. In support of their approach, the authors:
- identify four dialectic tensions as being central to the process of organizing for social change: control and emancipation, oppression and empowerment, dissemination anddialogue, and fragmentation and unity;
- argue for a dialectic approach which acknowledges that contradictory tensions can and do co-exist (for example, a project can control beneficiaries with tough conditionalities even as it emancipates them through economic empowerment); and
- draw upon cases set in various contexts-social justice, academic, corporate, artistic, and others-from both developing and developed countries.
The authors elaborate their thesis by examining four cases in depth: the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh; the dairy cooperatives of India's National Dairy Development Board; entertainment-education broadcasts and on-the-ground community organizing in Indian villages; and community suppers in Appalachia (USA).
Combining quality scholarship with a very interesting writing style, drawning from everyday life and its new insights into the processes of social change, this absorbing book is an essential text for scholars and practitioners of communication, social work, gender studies and social change.
A Dialectic Approach to Organizing for Social Change Dialectic of Control and Emancipation in Bangladesh's Grameen Bank Dialectic of Oppression and Empowerment in India's Dairy Co-Operatives Dialectic of Dissemination and Dialogue in Rural India Dialectic of Fragmentation and Unity in Rural Appalachia A Dialectic Journey of Theory and Praxis
Michael J. Papa (Ph.D., Temple University; M.A., Central Michigan University; B.A., St. John's University) teaches courses in organizational communication, research methods, and innovation diffusion. Papa has been involved in the design, evaluation, and documentation of various organizations for social change initiatives in Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and the U.S. In addition to this work, he has also conducted research in conflict management, group decision-making processes, management selection and development, and technology diffusion in organizations. Most recently, he has served as a consultant to The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, documenting President Carter's approach to negotiating peace with a focus on the settlement reached between Uganda and Sudan. Papa has received ten research awards for top papers from The National Communication Association and The International Communication Association. Dr. Arvind Singhal (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication and Director of the Social Justice Initiative in UTEP's Department of Communication. He is also appointed, since 2009-2010, as the William J. Clinton Distinguished Fellow at the Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock, Arkansas. Singhal teaches and conducts research in the diffusion of innovations, the positive deviance approach, organizing for social change, the entertainment-education strategy, and liberating interactional structures. His research and outreach spans sectors such as health, education, peace, human rights, poverty alleviation, sustainable development, civic participation, democracy and governance, and corporate citizenship. Singhal is co-author or editor of 12 books - Health Communication in the 21st Century (2014); Inviting Everyone: Healing Healthcare through Positive Deviance (2010); Protecting Children from Exploitation and Trafficking: Using the Positive Deviance Approach (2009); Popular with a Purpose (2008); Communication of Innovations (2006); Organizing for Social Change (2006); Entertainment-Education Worldwide: History, Research, and Practice (2004); Combating AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action (2003); The Children of Africa Confront AIDS: From Vulnerability to Possibility (2003);India's Communication Revolution: From Bullock Carts to Cyber Marts (2001); Entertainment-Education: A Communication Strategy for Social Change (1999); and India's Information Revolution (1989). Three of Singhal's books won awards for distinguished applied scholarship. In addition, he has authored some 170 peer-reviewed essays in outlets such as the Journal of Communication, Communication Theory, Communication Monographs, Health Communication, Management Communication Quarterly; Communication Quarterly, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Health Communication, and others. Singhal has won Top Paper Awards from the International and National Communication Associations (ICA and NCA) over a dozen times, and Ohio University's Baker Research Award twice. The Social Science Research Council & the International Communication Association recognized him as the winner of the Communication Research as Collaborative Practice Award in 2009, and the winner of the Communication Researcher as an Agent of Change Award in 2008. The NW Communication Association honored him with the 2007 Human Rights Award for Steadfast Commitment to Social Justice, Social Change, and Freedom, and in 2005, USC's Norman Lear Center honored him with the first Everett M. Rogers Award for Outstanding Contributions to Entertainment-Education. Singhal's recent academic honors and appointments include President-Appointed Visiting Professor, Kumamoto (National) University, Japan (2012-13); Fulbright Hays Scholar, Slovakia (2012); Schomburg Distinguished Scholar, Ramapo College of New Jersey (2011), Commerzbank Foundation Professor, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany (2009); Berkitt Williams Distinguished Lecturer, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkansas (2009); and Raushni Memorial Deshpande Distinguished Lecturer, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, India (2006). Singhal's research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, The Dutch Health Research Council, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, The National Science Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and others. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank, UN-FAO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNAIDS, UNFPA, U.S. Department of State; U.S. A.I.D., Family Health International, PATH, Save the Children, the BBC World Service Trust, International Rice Research Institute, Voice for Humanity, and private corporations such as Procter & Gamble (U.S.A and Thailand), Telenor AS (Norway), SpareBank (Norway), and others. He has taught previously at Ohio University, University of Southern California, University of California- Los Angeles, and held visiting professorships at the USC Annenberg School; the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; Royal Roads University, Canada; Kumamoto (National) University, Japan; Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany; Institut Teknologi (Malaysia), Bangkok University (Thailand); and visited and lectured in some 70 countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Overall this book unfolds the grey area in the process of social change...This book is an essential deviation to understand that social change is a continuous dialectic process embedded with inevitable contradictory tensions. The book's comprehensive text provides easy and enjoyable reading, apart from providing a scholastic account on the subject. -- Social Change An important feature of the book is the incorporation of principles of self-reflexivity, wheren the authore have not only detailed the field research methodologies but also their own theorectical beliefs, and acknowledged the relationship between the two...The book makes a valuable contribution to the discussion of dialectics in development, establishing how contradictions and contrary pulls and forces are not only normal but also necessary and beneficial in a bottom-up-people-centred development process. -- IIMB Management Review