Challenging our Simplistic Notions of Community? A Snapshot of Dynamics and Livelihood Struggles from Dumase Community, Ghana
Conceptions of community tend to influence community development activities and outcomes. However, it appears many community development practitioners gloss over these and operate with a homogenising mindset in rural communities that may appear very simple to the outsider. This paper undertakes a qualitative study of a rural community that has been seriously affected by surface mining problems in the western region of Ghana. It analyses how community dynamics seem to have led to negative reinforcements at the local level, and how these have stalled effective community level responses to the surface mining problems. The findings reveal that collective action is not automatic; community interests may also diverge even in rural settings that may seem laid-back to the casual observer. The paper argues that a lack of in-depth understanding of community dynamics is likely to produce ineffective responses to community problems. Community development workers may therefore need to abandon simplistic, homogenizing and harmonious notions of community and strive to gain more realistic understanding of community dynamics in order to achieve development objectives.
Key words: Community, Development, Interests, Mining, Pollution
© 2018 The authors.
The Ghana Journal of Development Studies is published twice a year (May & October) by the Faculty of Integrated Development Studies as a service to development related research.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without the written authorisation of the publisher and copyright owner.
The content is licensed uder a CC-BY license.