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Past Event

The myth of ‘community’: fake concepts and distracted knowledge in humanitarian and development action

2 May 2018 13:00–14:30

Library Road, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE

The default language in talking about disasters, climate change and development and the local level is now ‘community’. It is rare for the word ‘people’ or ‘locality’ to be used. Instead researchers, donors and other organizations all claim to be working with ‘communities’. It is also reflected in the prefix ‘community-based’, which can be added to any problem so as to fix it.

This presentation challenges the way that ‘community’ is perceived and framed for our benefit, and argues that it distracts from understanding the actual explanations of problems. It has become a ‘fake concept’ that makes it unnecessary to analyse causation and the root causes in exploitation and oppression.

Speaker

Terry Cannon, IDS

Watch again

The myth of ‘community’: fake concepts and distracted knowledge in humanitarian and development action from Institute of Development Studies