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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Multi-Party Collaboration... Building Generative Knowlege and Developing Relationships among Unequal Partners in Local Community Projects in Ecuador

Author: Bouwen, R. et al.
Author Background:
Date 1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Concepts-and-Transformation
Volume/Pages 4(2) 133-151
Subject Matter Community Development; International; Ecuador
Abstract Nongovernmental organizations are gradually coming to play an increasing role in developmental projects, & organizational psychology is being challenged to contribute to understanding of the dynamics of interparty collaboration. Here, it is documented how the stakeholders in a social development project in Ecuador develop meaning through discursive practices, when they define the issues they work on from their own particular perspectives. Developmental work is pictured in the use of metaphors as being aid, trade, transfer, exchange, etc, through the use of specific forms of thought & language. Each metaphor leads into different meaning configurations & characterizes a specific quality of dialogue. Special attention is paid to the action strategies that allow the weaker parties to remain included in the development project. Discursive practices, metaphors, & qualities of dialogue are illustrated for two multiparty projects. These illustrate how a social constructionist reading can reveal & generate discourses that allow the inclusion of weaker parties, in the cases under study, as representatives of the local communities. 2 Tables, 19 References. Adapted from the source document