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I study how power moves in relational practices between humans. The data show that some relational practices function culturally as democratic (they share power) and some function culturally as authoritarian (they steal and hoard power). I'm interested in how those relational practices create social soil that either enables the growth of healthy democratic processes and systems or undermines those while enabling the growth of authoritarian leaders and regimes. The focus is culture, not politics.
My contention in this article is that in order to construct critical communication knowledge useful for understanding change and affording a productive politics, critical scholars would benefit from an ongoing, serious discussion of the metaphysical assumptions that underlie our work. Conceiving change – understanding its process and how to create...
"Department of Speech Communication." Thesis (Ph.D.)--Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2005. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 168-180).
With the relatively recent advent of the factory farming industry (or corporations that confine, breed, fatten, and slaughter nonhuman animals using modern industrial methods), an assortment of corporate strategies have ensued that construct an image of a benevolently beneficial industry. Far from benign, however, factory farms are responsible for...
To observe relational practices--from the bottom of workplace cultures--that share or steal and hoard power. To test relational power theory in actual workplace cultural conditions. To document my experiences as a worker in the power scarcity conditions at the bottom of corporate hierarchies.
Create a working organization that employs field research and creative projects to balance power relations from the bottom and margins of U.S. cultures. Subjunctively: MISSION :: RDP generates original in-field research that grows cultural work and creative projects aimed at proliferating everyday democratic practices in U.S. cultures. VISION :: A country whose balanced human power relations create healthy enabling conditions for democratic processes and systems. VALUES *Transparency is essential. RDP works with no blinds on the windows. *Openness is critical. RDP’s channels of communication are always accessible. *Accuracy is fundamental. RDP’s content is always data-based. *Independence is key. RDP’s projects adhere to its mission, vision, and values in achieving its goals. *Firsthand experience is vital. RDP’s projects and their implementation are based on original in-field research that begins from the bottom and margins of cultures. GOALS >Begin collection of “relational big data” used to understand imbalanced human power relations in actual living conditions on the ground of U.S. cultures. > Create the most comprehensive and accessible source of knowledge in the nation about U.S. relational cultures and their connection to democratic norms. > Recreate human connection in hostile environments using qualitative research methods geared to understanding fellow humans. > Nurture conditions for human trust, vulnerability, expression, and self-knowledge — all of which support democratic processes and systems. > Model power sharing practices, those that are fair and equal in terms of giving and sharing efforts and resources. > Model transparent, open, and informationally accurate business and professional practices. > Provide tools for developing community media and arts resources from the bottom and margins of cultures. > Provide free access to resources that support relational health and human well-being. > Develop possibilities for local intellectual labor opportunities. > Develop local researchers who can also train others in the area. > Embody independence from business, academic, religious, and political organizations by making decisions and judgements based solely on RDP’s mission and aligned with its vision and values.