Participatory Development in Appalachia
Cultural Identity, Community, and Sustainability
- Author(s): Keefe, Susan E., ed.
- Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
- Publication Date: 2009-07-15
- Status: Active
- Available in Paper: Price $24.95 | Buy Now
Often thought of as impoverished, backward, and victimized, the people of the southern mountains have long been prime candidates for development projects conceptualized and controlled from outside the region. This book, breaking with old stereotypes and the strategies they spawned, proposes an alternative paradigm for development projects in Appalachian communities-one that is far more inclusive and democratic than previous models.
Emerging from a critical analysis of the modern development process, the participatory development approach advocated in this book assumes that local culture has value, that local communities have assets, and that local people have the capacity to envision and provide leadership for their own social change. It thus promotes better decision making in Appalachian communities through public participation and civic engagement.
Filling a void in current research by detailing useful, hands-on tools and methods employed in a variety of contexts and settings, the book combines relevant case studies of successful participatory projects with practical recommendations from seasoned professionals. Editor Susan E. Keefe has included the perspectives of anthropologists, sociologists, and others who have been engaged, sometimes for decades, in Appalachian communities. These contributors offer hopeful new strategies for dealing with Appalachia’s most enduring problems-strategies that will also aid activists and researchers working in other distressed or underserved communities.
Susan E. Keefe is professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University. She is the editor of Appalachian Mental Health and Appalachian Cultural Competency: A Guide for Medical, Mental Health, and Social Service Professionals.