Communicating Development with Communities: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Communicating Development with Communities

1st Edition

By Linje Manyozo


166 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138746046
pub: 2017-06-13
Hardback: 9781138745995
pub: 2017-06-13
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315180526
pub: 2017-07-14
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Development theory and practice are often taught in a manner that strips them of their historical context and obscures alternative intellectual assumptions and critical frameworks. This prevents students from acquiring a holistic understanding of the world and consequently, when it comes to development practice, most lack the skills to live and engage with people. It has become crucial to properly consider what it means to conceive and implement participatory development out in the field and not just in the boardroom.

Building on the work of Robert Chambers and Arturo Escobar, Communicating Development with Communities is an empirically grounded critical reflection on how the development industry defines, imagines and constructs development at the implementation level. Unpacking the dominant syntax in the theory and practice of development, the book advocates a move towards relational and indigenous models of living that celebrate local ontologies, spirituality, economies of solidarity and community-ness. It investigates how subaltern voices are produced and appropriated, and how well-meaning experts can easily become oppressors. The book propounds a pedagogy of listening as a pathway that offers a space for interest groups to collaboratively curate meaningful development with and alongside communities.

This is a valuable resource for academics and practitioners in the fields of Development Studies, Communication for Development, Communication for Social Change, Social Anthropology, Economic Development and Public Policy.

Foreword by Robin Mansell.


"In Communicating Development with Communities, Linje Manyozo offers a critique of development theory and practice, unpacking the dominant development paradigm and the power dynamics that are inherent within it. Building on the work of Escobar (1995) and Chambers (2005), Manyozo joins the call for alternative conceptualizations of development practice and teaching, positioning a pedagogy of listening as an avenue for the realization of development alongside communities." -- Tait Brimacombe, for Community Development Journal. 2018

"Linje Manyozo has a very special talent. He achieves an insightful blending of the personal and the political, drawing upon a wide range of critical traditions in academic research and upon his own life experience. Alternative development pathways may be borne through speaking development with and alongside communities. For him, this is the route through which the subaltern perspective can be acquired and in a way that informs action. Manyozo’s proposals for theory and practice offer a pathway for a journey which, through experimentation, can create opportunities for deliberative development at the community level." – Robin Mansell, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

"Linje Manyozo is one of the most exciting scholars writing in the field of media, communication and development today. He combines academic rigour and insights, his experience of working as a communication for development practitioner, and his own personal trajectory, to provide a searing contemporary critique of the field and its problems and possibilities. This book is a wonderfully colourful account of the importance of speaking, listening and deliberative development." – Jo Tacchi, Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University in London, UK

"Linje Manyozo is back in academia after years in development practice, and with his most important book to date. This is a very well written, strong critique of development theory and practice. It is a thorough deconstruction of the spectacle of development, and a solid suggestion for a reconstruction of deliberative development. Provocative in his style, thoughtful in essence and novel in his perspectives, Manyozo’s voice is fundamental." – Thomas Tufte, School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester, UK

"Linje Manyozo brings to the fore refreshing analysis on one of the silent issues in development lexicon. Communicating Development with Communities is a truly timely contribution to fundamental principles of development practice. This is a call for the balance of power and respect for those on the "receiving" end of development." Jonathan Makuwira, Department of Development Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

Table of Contents

Foreword Robin Mansell

Part I: Deconstruction

Chapter 1 Spectacle of Development

Chapter 2 Language of Oppression

Part II: Reconstruction

Chapter 3 Capturing Subaltern Voices

Chapter 4 Living with People

Chapter 5 Encountering Poverty

Chapter 6 Pedagogy of Listening

About the Author

Linje Manyozo is a Senior Lecturer in Communication for Development, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Australia. He is also an Honorary Research Associate of the Department of Development Studies, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.

About the Series

Rethinking Development

Rethinking Development offers accessible and thought-provoking overviews of contemporary topics in international development and aid. Providing original empirical and analytical insights, the books in this series push thinking in new directions by challenging current conceptualizations and developing new ones.  

This is a dynamic and inspiring series for all those engaged with today’s debates surrounding development issues, whether they be students, scholars, policy makers and practitioners internationally. These interdisciplinary books provide an invaluable resource for discussion in advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses in development studies as well as in anthropology, economics, politics, geography, media studies and sociology.

To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries