Against the Professional Cooptation of Community
John L McKnight:
(Fourth Annual Schumacher Lectures', in October 1984)
"The professional co-option of community efforts to invent appropriate techniques for citizens to care in community has been pervasive. Therefore, we need to identify the characteristics of those social forms that are resistant to colonization by service technologies while enabling communities to cultivate and care. These authentic social forms are characterized by three basic dimensions: they tend to be uncommodified, unmanaged, and uncurricularized.
The tools of the bereavement counselor make grief into a commodity rather than an opportunity for community. Service technologies convert conditions into commodities and care into service.
The tools of the manager convert communality into hierarchy, replacing consent with control. Where once there was a commons, the manager creates a corporation.
The tools of the pedagogue create monopolies in the place of cultures. By making a school of every-day life, community definitions and citizen action are degraded and finally expelled.
It is this hard-working team—the service professional, the manager, and the pedagogue—that pulls the tools of "community busting" through the modern social landscape. If we are to recultivate community, we will need to return this team to the stable, abjuring their use." ( http://www.smallisbeautiful.org/lec-mck.html )
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