Research Articles

Rediscovering the Latin American Roots of Participatory Communication for Social Change



The history of communication theory for social change has tended to adopt a Westernizing and colonial perspective when describing its origin, evolution and main paradigm shifts, as a US and European contribution complemented with peripheral ideas from other world regions – Latin America and, to a much lesser extent, Asia and Africa. All of the ideas from the periphery were underestimated, if not considered ideological or political disputes and, consequently, non‐scientific. Despite this lack of recognition, the Latin American legacy to communication for development and social change constitutes one of the main theoretical frameworks for building a more complex, participatory and democratic communication paradigm. Some of the first proposals of Latin American communication scholars in the 1970s and 1980s shared similar ethical/political aims. These involved a grassroots and critical basis and, above all, a constant a constant attention to praxis as the core of a new way of thinking, researching and planning communication.

Keywords: participatory communication, development, community communication, communication for social change, communication for development, communication

How to Cite:

Barranquero A., (2017) “Rediscovering the Latin American Roots of Participatory Communication for Social Change”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 8(1). p.154-177. doi: