Theorising Dialogue for Community Development Practice – an Exploration of Crucial Thinkers

Both dialogue studies and the field of community development are reasonably well developed ‘communities of practice’, however, there has been little direct interplay between the two whereby a theory of dialogue for community development is articulated. This article then attempts to break new ground, setting up a ‘dialogue’, so to speak, between dialogue studies and community development theory and practice. The article consists of a systematic exploration of some of the crucial work on dialogue that the author has concluded is relevant for community development theory and practice. The perspective taken draws on the work of leading thinkers from different places and disciplines, including Hans-Georg Gadamer, Martin Buber, David Bohm, Paulo Freire and Mikhail Bakhtin. Each contributes insights that enhance an approach to community development that centres dialogue within its theory and practice.
Peter Westoby

Peter Westoby

Senior Lecturer in Community Development at the School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, Australia

Senior Lecturer in Community Development at the School of Social Science, The University of Queensland