Senior Thesis Abstract (Patterson)


Development, Power and Movements: A Comparative Case Study of Communities and Empowerment

Lisa Patterson

Sub-field: Cutural Anthropology

Advisor: Paula Sabloff, Cultural Anthropologist, Department of Anthropology

In the effort to uncover how certain development strategies succeed, a comparative case study of two community development organizations is presented. Using ethnographic fieldwork, analyses of the Urban Nutrition Initiative and of a community-supported agricultural garden are used to describe the organizational underpinnings of development agencies through a public policy framework. The relationships of power between advocates and clientele are discussed in the context of social service networks. Through participant observation and interviews, the paper demonstrates how power transitions in development schemes are the markers for social movements in communities. These movements are defined as indicators of successful strategies through the community empowerment model.

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