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The Handbook of Development Communication and Social Change

ISBN: 978-1-118-50531-1
528 pages
April 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Development Communication and Social Change (111850531X) cover image


This valuable resource offers a wealth of practical and conceptual guidance to all those engaged in struggles for social justice around the world. It explains in accessible language and painstaking detail how to deploy and to understand the tools of media and communication in advancing the goals of social, cultural, and political change.

  • A stand-out reference on a vital topic of primary international concern, with a rising profile in communications and media research programs
  • Multinational editorial team and global contributors
  • Covers the history of the field as well as integrating and reconceptualising its diverse perspectives and approaches
  • Provides a fully formed framework of understanding and identifies likely future developments
  • Features a wealth of insights into the critical role of digital media in development communication and social change
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Series Editor’s Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction 1
Karin Gwinn Wilkins, Thomas Tufte, and Rafael Obregon

Part I Communicating Development and Social Change 5

1 Development Communication and Social Change in Historical Context 7
Pradip Ninan Thomas

2 Globalization and Development 20
Toby Miller

3 Political Economy of Development 40
James Pamment

4 Advocacy Communication 57
Karin Gwinn Wilkins

5 Equality and Human Rights 72
Cees J. Hamelink

6 Public Health 92
Colin Tinei Chasi

7 Indigenous Communication: From Multiculturalism to Interculturality 108
Alfonso Gumucio-Dagron

8 Communication, Development, and the Natural Environment 125
Elske van de Fliert

9 Emerging Issues in Communicating Development and Social Change 138
Karin Gwinn Wilkins

Part II Developing Strategic Communication for Social Change 145

10 The Strategic Politics of Participatory Communication 147
Silvio Waisbord

11 Rethinking Entertainment-Education for Development and Social Change 168
Rafael Obregon and Thomas Tufte

12 Storytelling for Social Change 189
Kate Winskell and Daniel Enger

13 Theater for Development 207
David Kerr

14 Media Development 226
James Deane

15 Economics and Communication for Development and Social Change 242
Emile G. McAnany

16 Peace Communication for Social Change: Dealing with Violent Conflict 259
Ana Fernández Viso

17 Social and Behavior Change Communication 278
Neill McKee, Antje Becker-Benton, and Emily Bockh

18 A Participatory Framework for Researching and Evaluating Communication for Development and Social Change 298
Jo Tacchi and June Lennie

19 Emerging Issues in Strategic Communication for Development and Social Change 321
Rafael Obregon

Part III Activist Approaches for Development and Social Change 329

20 Social Movement Media in the Process of Constructive Social Change 331
John D.H. Downing

21 Transnational Civil Society and Social Movements 351
Anastasia Kavada

22 Communication for Transparency and Social Accountability 370
Norbert Wildermuth

23 Citizens’ Journalism: Shifting Public Spheres from Elites to Citizens 393
Clemencia Rodríguez and Ana María Miralles

24 Citizens’ Media: Citizens’ Watchdog Groups and Observatories 411
Rosa María Alfaro Moreno

25 Community Radio 426
Tanja Bosch

26 Youth-Generated Media 439
Joe F. Khalil

27 Video for Change 453
Tina Askanius

28 Emerging Issues in Activism and Social Change Communication 471
Thomas Tufte

Index 478

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Author Information

Karin Gwinn Wilkins is Professor in the Department of Radio, TV, and Film at the University of Texas at Austin, USA, where she is also Associate Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and chair of the Global Studies Bridging Disciplines Program. Prof Wilkins has won numerous awards for her teaching and research, which focuses on development communication, global communication, and political engagement. She is the author of Home/Land/Security: What We Learn about Arab Communities from Action-Adventure Film (2008), Re-Developing Communication for Social Change (2000), and is a prolific contributor to journals including the Journal of Communication and Media, Culture & Society.

Thomas Tufte is Professor of Communication at Roskilde University, Denmark. An experienced director of international research projects, he is the author or editor of a dozen books including Living with the Rubbish Queen: Telenovelas, Culture and Modernity in Brazil (2000), as well as more than fifty research papers published in books and journals. Prof Tufte is a former UNESCO Chair of Communication at Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona and was a long-standing council member of the International Association for Media and Communication Research. He is widely consulted by high-profile international development agencies including UNESCO and the World Bank.

Rafael Obregon is Chief of Communication for Development at the United Nations Children’s Fund, New York, and a former Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University, USA. With more than two decades of academic experience in development and health communication, he has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on related topics, and co-edited The Handbook of Global Health Communication (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012) alongside Silvio Waisbord.

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“As a whole, this collection provides an international perspective on development communication and social change, making it a strong addition to courses on activist rhetoric, development communication, and international communication.”  (Technical Communication, 1 February 2015)


“This handbook is a unique tool to profoundly understand the strategic use of communication for social justice. It closes critical gaps and articulates previous traditions. The editors have brought together a truly impressive collection of original texts and have opened new directions for the field.” – Helena Sousa, University of Minho

“A weakness of literature on development communication is its division into streams with separate, partly artificial niches. This book brings the approaches together. It not only gives an overview of the field but it creates an integrated conceptual framework toward understanding communication, media, development, participation and social change.” – Ullamaija Kivikuru, Helsinki University

“Professor Wilkins, Tufte and Obregon’s edited handbook provides a comprehensive and critical assessment of the many roles that communication – both theory and practice- has played in development and social change over the past 60 years. It will be an invaluable resource for development communication specialists and scholars, and for anyone committed to advancing the rights and opportunities of historically neglected or oppressed communities.” – John Mayo, Florida State University

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