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Family Tree of Theories, Methodologies & Strategies in Development Communication: Convergences & Differences

Participatory theories also criticized the modernization paradigm on the grounds that it promoted a top-down, ethnocentric and paternalistic view of development. They argued that the diffusion model proposed a conception of development associated with a Western vision of progress. Development communication was informed by a theory that "became a science of producing effective messages" (Hein in Quarmyne 1991). After decades of interventions, the failure to address poverty and other structural problems in the Third World needed to be explained on the faulty theoretical premises of the programs. Any intervention that was focused on improving messages to better reach individuals or only change behavior was, by definition, unable to implement social change.

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