Community Development: A Critical Approach

Margeret Ledwith

Community development finds itself in times of unprecedented political, social and economic change, locally and globally, at the same time as divisions between poverty and privilege widen. Building practical approaches to theory and theoretical approaches to practice, this updated and expanded second edition develops critiques of the changing context and identifies challenges faced by community development both at community level and as a collective force for a more just, equal and sustainable future. Featuring a range of different models of community development and illustrative stories from practitioners in the field, the new edition will be essential reading for practitioners, students and educators involved in community development, youth and community work, social work, health and education.

"Margaret Ledwith presents a radical vision of community development in which the analyses of power that lead to domination and discrimination, present in every community, provide the basis of transforming practice. The revolutionary pedagogy of Paulo Freire and Gramsci's concept of hegemony work together with feminism and anti-racism to unite theory and practice in ways which develop critical thinking as the basis of empowering communities." --Javier Segura del Pozo, Public Health Medical Practitioner, Madrid.

"Margaret Ledwith's new edition of Community Development reminds us of the importance of maintaining a critical reflexive perspective when undertaking action in a community….Ledwith's model for practice offers hope and optimism in dealing with the challenges that a neo-liberal society poses for marginalised and disenfranchised people." --Lena Dominelli, University of Durham

About the Author
Margaret Ledwith lives in Lancaster where she is Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at the University of Cumbria. She is also a coordinator of the international Collaborative Action Research Network. For many years, she was a grassroots community worker, and it was this experience of working with marginalised communities that forged the foundation of a lifetime commitment to social justice. She has written three books: Participating in Transformation: Towards a working model of community empowerment (1997), Community Development: A critical approach (2005), for which Policy Press have recently awarded her 'bestselling title of all time' and a 'lifetime achievement', and, with Jane Springett, Participatory Practice: Community-based action for transformative change (2009).

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