The Bunong culture of silence: Exploring Bunong perspectives on participation at the interface between Bunong culture and development organisations.

Authors:
Date:
2010
Degree:
M.Sc., Lund University, Sweden
Extent:
54 pages
Abstract:
The Bunong indigenous minority who live in the North-East of Cambodia have experienced rapid change in the last decade. With the arrival of commercialised society has come the development agenda, which has sought the participation of minorities, but with only limited success. Using Long’s concept of ‘interface analysis’, the purpose of this study is to examine how cultural change has effected Bunong people’s interaction with NGOs (Non-Government Organisations). The study has employed qualitative interviews, secondary historical and ethnographic works, and the authors own 4 years of experience to construct an ethnography of change, and an analysis of Bunong-NGO interaction. Four reinforcing narratives were identified: rapid external change, weak conservatism, knowledge fault-lines, and cultural inferiority. It is argued that these combine to form a Freirien 'Culture of Silence', where the Bunong own the view of the dominant discourse - that their life project is inferior - causing them look to external models of development. As NGOs act in this environment, they are in danger of perpetuating this problem. While programming suggests that agendas are sensitive to the Bunong environment, the culture of modern Khmer organisations reinforces the perception of cultural inferiority and perpetuates dependency on external knowledge.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Cambodia
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Work Type:
Subject:
cultural change
culture
ethnohistory
Grounded Theory
interface analysis
language
NGO management
Participation
participatory approaches
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
41807