Guest Lecture Northampton March 2010 Becoming Critical
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Guest Lecture Northampton March 2010 Becoming Critical

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Slide from Professor Margaret Ledwith's guest lecture to Social & Community Development students and staff at the University of Northampton on 2nd March 2010

Slide from Professor Margaret Ledwith's guest lecture to Social & Community Development students and staff at the University of Northampton on 2nd March 2010

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Guest Lecture Northampton March 2010 Becoming Critical Guest Lecture Northampton March 2010 Becoming Critical Presentation Transcript

  • Becoming Critical: Community development as practice for social justice
    Margaret Ledwith
    Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice
    University of Cumbria, UK
  • Community Development
    Community development is about social justice and environmental justice
    Twin world crises of social justice and sustainability
  • New ideas: new policy
    Social exclusion due to personal deficits
    ‘De-emphasises’ poverty and redistributive justice (Tett, 2006)
    Erodes collective responsibility
    Gives rise to povertyism: poverty as a personal problem (Killeen,2008)
  • EVERY CHILD MATTERS!Or do they?
    State of the world’s children 2005: Childhood under threat (UNICEF, 2005): one in every two children of the world in poverty
    UNICEF report (2007) on child well-being in rich countries: UK bottom of 21 countries
  • Troubled times: child poverty in Black and White,Moss Side, Manchester, UK, 2008
    ‘The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born’
    (UNICEF, 2007: 1).
  • Who is poor? Racist dimensions of UK child poverty
    27% of children from white families
    36% Indian
    41% Black Caribbean
    47% Black non-Caribbean
    69% Pakistani and Bangladeshi
    Source: Child Poverty Action Group (2008) Child Poverty: The stats, London:CPAG
  • A divided world
    Widening gap between poverty and prosperity
    Polarising social divisions within and between countries
    Acceleration of globalisation – profit imperative exploits people and environments
    Same structures of oppression – class, ‘race’, gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, faith, ‘dis’ability… reproduced on global scale
    World in crisis offers new possibilities!
  • Problematising Katrina:a politics of disposability
  • Practical theory in action
    Begins in stories of everyday life
    Values: equality, respect, dignity, mutuality, trust…
    Teaching to question the taken-for-grantedness of everyday life
    Re-experiencing the ordinary as extraordinary
    Understanding local lives as politically constructed across difference
    Dialogue: creating critical dissent
    Praxis: theory/practice, action/reflection, thinking/doing
    Conscientisation: becoming critical
    Collective action for change: local to global
    Worldview based on cooperation, not competition
    Participatory democracy
  • Culture of silence
  • Respectful encounters: listening to everyday stories
  • Problematising: re-experiencing the ordinary as extraordinary
  • Teaching to question:Who? Where? What? Why? How? In whose interests?
  • Dialogue: connected knowing across difference
  • Action/reflection:generating practical theories
  • Creating critical dissent dialogue:challenging the taken-for-grantedness of everyday life with carnivalesque in the public square
  • Scholes Community Garden:replacing dereliction with beauty
  • Local action: carnival as dissent
  • Local to national action:Migrant Rights Centre Irelandcampaign for policy change on work permits
  • Local to global action: women of the world unite, Beijing 1995
  • Where to from here?
    Michael Pitchford (2008): CD is distracted, lost our overarching purpose, colonised by top-down policy ‘herding communities into structures and forums they neither own nor relate to’
    CD about deepening democracy: critique, dissent, vision are foundation of social justice praxis!