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

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Guest Lecture Northampton March 2010 Becoming Critical

  1. 1. Becoming Critical: Community development as practice for social justice<br />Margaret Ledwith<br />Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice<br />University of Cumbria, UK<br />
  2. 2. Community Development<br />Community development is about social justice and environmental justice<br />Twin world crises of social justice and sustainability<br />
  3. 3. New ideas: new policy<br />Social exclusion due to personal deficits<br />‘De-emphasises’ poverty and redistributive justice (Tett, 2006)<br />Erodes collective responsibility<br />Gives rise to povertyism: poverty as a personal problem (Killeen,2008)<br />
  4. 4. EVERY CHILD MATTERS!Or do they?<br />State of the world’s children 2005: Childhood under threat (UNICEF, 2005): one in every two children of the world in poverty <br />UNICEF report (2007) on child well-being in rich countries: UK bottom of 21 countries <br />
  5. 5. Troubled times: child poverty in Black and White,Moss Side, Manchester, UK, 2008<br />‘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’ <br /> (UNICEF, 2007: 1).<br />
  6. 6. Who is poor? Racist dimensions of UK child poverty<br />27% of children from white families<br />36% Indian <br />41% Black Caribbean <br />47% Black non-Caribbean<br />69% Pakistani and Bangladeshi<br />Source: Child Poverty Action Group (2008) Child Poverty: The stats, London:CPAG<br />
  7. 7. A divided world<br />Widening gap between poverty and prosperity <br />Polarising social divisions within and between countries<br />Acceleration of globalisation – profit imperative exploits people and environments<br />Same structures of oppression – class, ‘race’, gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, faith, ‘dis’ability… reproduced on global scale<br />World in crisis offers new possibilities!<br />
  8. 8. Problematising Katrina:a politics of disposability<br />
  9. 9. Practical theory in action<br />Begins in stories of everyday life<br />Values: equality, respect, dignity, mutuality, trust… <br />Teaching to question the taken-for-grantedness of everyday life<br />Re-experiencing the ordinary as extraordinary<br />Understanding local lives as politically constructed across difference<br />Dialogue: creating critical dissent<br />Praxis: theory/practice, action/reflection, thinking/doing<br />Conscientisation: becoming critical<br />Collective action for change: local to global<br />Worldview based on cooperation, not competition<br />Participatory democracy<br />
  10. 10. Culture of silence<br />
  11. 11. Respectful encounters: listening to everyday stories<br />
  12. 12. Problematising: re-experiencing the ordinary as extraordinary<br />
  13. 13. Teaching to question:Who? Where? What? Why? How? In whose interests?<br />
  14. 14. Dialogue: connected knowing across difference<br />
  15. 15. Action/reflection:generating practical theories <br />
  16. 16. Creating critical dissent dialogue:challenging the taken-for-grantedness of everyday life with carnivalesque in the public square<br />
  17. 17. Scholes Community Garden:replacing dereliction with beauty<br />
  18. 18. Local action: carnival as dissent<br />
  19. 19. Local to national action:Migrant Rights Centre Irelandcampaign for policy change on work permits<br />
  20. 20. Local to global action: women of the world unite, Beijing 1995<br />
  21. 21. Where to from here?<br />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’<br />CD about deepening democracy: critique, dissent, vision are foundation of social justice praxis!<br />

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