Re-seeing and re-naming the world: community development and prefigurative democratic work

Beck, D. (2016) Re-seeing and re-naming the world: community development and prefigurative democratic work. Radical Community Work Journal, 2(1),

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This paper explores how Community Development can lay the foundations for participative democratic processes by engaging communities in creative processes of re-seeing and re-naming their world, drawing on the theories of Freire and Boal. It sets this work in the context of a democratic deficit, indicative of a widespread disengagement from civil society and considers how critical reflection facilitated by Community Arts based approaches can be a first step in reinvigorating democratic participation. Much of the discussion around how Community Development practitioners work to engage people in democratic and participative processes focuses on organising for action and developing participative structures. This paper argues that this approach misses out a crucially important first stage since it fails to deal with the psycho-social roots of people’s disengagement; that stage being the development of critical reflection leading to a more critical consciousness. Drawing on the theoretical insights of Freire the examples considered here, Community Arts are used as lens through which that critical reflection can happen: the community is re-seen and re-named by local people.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Beck, Mr Dave
Authors: Beck, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Radical Community Work Journal
Publisher:The Radical Community Work Journal
Published Online:01 January 2016

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