Community-oriented tools and technologies have become a strategic focus within post-catastrophe humanitarian interventions when supporting affected populations in their efforts to learn to survive. This paper describes how different social groups performed and translated the goal of community design into practice in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. I argue that the circulation of communitarian discourses and practices on the scene of disaster created a polymorph and stratified «regime of exchange» between donors and final beneficiaries, including each link of the «brokerage chain» of humanitarian aid. Instead of developing what was expected – a common sense of purpose and a collaborative desire to share work-related knowledge and experience - participants manipulated, distorted and reconfigured meanings and identities in order to strategically adapt themselves to the post-disaster situation. The ethnographic analysis demonstrates that the rhetoric of cultivation generated by the community-of-practice approach used in post-catastrophe interventions does not account for the complexity of reality. It is only by moving from a «community of practice» concept to the idea of «polity of practices» that the researcher is able to describe participants’ varying levels of interest in the community and how these interests were differently performed according to political fields of situated knowledge and practice.
|Titolo:||Cultivating Communities after Disaster: A Whirlwind of Generosity on the Coasts of Sri Lanka|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|