Changing community attitudes

Ison, R. L. (1993). Changing community attitudes. The Rangeland Journal, 15(1) pp. 154–166.



This paper argues the case for participative ecodesign as a means of conducting future rangeland research and development. To embark on this path it will be necessary for the rangeland science community to critically question traditions and myths which shape current practices. These include current conceptions of extension, "technology transfer", community and human communication. Research has shown that attitudes of rangeland decision-makers are rarely a constraint to dealing with issues of land degradation and management and technology "adoption". Attempts to change attitudes are likely to be of little value. A recognition of the unequal power relations implicit in traditional practice is a necessary precondition to the emergence of participative processes which reverse the history of subjection of grazier knowledge and values by institutionalised authority. A set of values and guiding principles are proposed for participative ecodesign. These include (i) reinterpreting our relationship with land; (ii) policy development based on citizen as opposed to individual values and (iii) acknowledging power in the design process.

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