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Whose Knowledge? Epistemological Collisions in Solomon Islands Community Development

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Title:Whose Knowledge? Epistemological Collisions in Solomon Islands Community Development
Authors:Gegeo, David Welchman
Watson-Gegeo, Karen Ann
Keywords:rural development
community development
indigenous epistemology
show 1 moreSolomon Islands
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LC Subject Headings:Oceania -- Periodicals.
Date Issued:2002
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation:Gegeo, D. W., and K. A. Watson-Gegeo. 2002. Whose Knowledge? Epistemological Collisions in Solomon Islands Community Development. The Contemporary Pacific 14 (2): 377-409.
Abstract:We show in this article how modernization, disguised as “community development,”
continues to fail rural villages in Solomon Islands despite the supposed
movement toward a more people-centered, bottom-up philosophy in development
education and practice. We focus on the case study of a Kwara‘ae (Malaita island)
rural, locally owned and operated project aimed at giving unemployed male youth
a stake in the community and preventing their off-island migration. Successful for
a decade, the project was destroyed by the intervention of a retired government
official who, because of his education, training, and work with outside development
agencies, imposed a modernization framework, including centralization of
leadership and the valuing of Anglo-European knowledge over indigenous knowledge.
While agreeing with the theoretical argument for indigenous knowledge in
development, we argue that it is equally important that development be guided by
people’s indigenous epistemology/ies and indigenous critical praxis for (re)constructing and applying knowledge.
Appears in Collections: TCP [The Contemporary Pacific], 2002 - Volume 14, Number 2

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