CARE White Paper Issue 2: March 2020 – A culture-centered approach to pandemic response: Voice, Universal Infrastructure, and Equality

Mohan J. Dutta, Director, Center for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)

CARE White Paper Issue 2 March 2020

The global nodes of spread of Covid-19 highlight the significance of health communication in preventing the spread as well as in effectively responding to it. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Noting the aggressive movement of the virus across countries, with eight countries reporting more than 1000 cases of COVID-19, the WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Drawing on critical analyses of the pandemic and crises response literatures as well as building on the experiences of CARE in developing culture-centered community grounded interventions,this white paper outlines the culture-centered approach to pandemic response, specifically directed at offering culturecentered guidelines for effective communication. The culture-centered approach foregrounds the interplays of culture, structure, and agency in the constructions of health meanings and the development of health solutions

Professor Mohan Dutta Wins Prestigious Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association

Professor Mohan Dutta Wins Prestigious Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from…

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Thursday, 10 September 2020

Mohan J. Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication at Massey University and Director of the CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation C, recently received the 2020 Charles H. Woolbert Research Award and the Golden Anniversary Monograph Award from the National Communication Association (NCA). Given annually, the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award honors a journal article or book chapter that has stood the test of time and has become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena. Dr. Dutta was recognized for the article, “Communicating about Culture and Health: Theorizing Culture-Centered and Cultural Sensitivity Approaches,” published in Communication Theory in 2007. Dr. Dutta’s paradigm-shifting critical-theoretical and applied intervention into health communication contexts and practices, addresses structural inequalities and centers the voices of those struggling on global margins. “Communicating about Culture and Health” changed the discipline, expanded cross-disciplinary and cross-methodological collaboration, and influenced curricula in medical schools as well as clinical practice. Cited more than 600 times, in more than a dozen languages, on every continent, this article has directly shaped projects benefitting “marginalized communities around the world, ranging from immigrant, African American, and First Nations communities in the United States and Canada, to migrant workers communities throughout South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, to minoritized communities in South Africa, South America, and more.”The Golden Anniversary Monograph Award is given annually to honor the most outstanding scholarly monograph(s) published during the previous calendar year. Dr. Dutta was recognized for the article, “‘Communication sovereignty’ as Resistance: Strategies Adopted by Women Farmers Amid the Agrarian Crisis in India,” published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research in 2019 with Dr. Jagadish Thaker. Drs. Dutta and Thaker’s article is based on five years of participatory research with women farmers in southern India. The article highlights how women from oppressed caste communities in southern India come together to organize for increased economic and political power. The intervention that this article develops and emerges from addresses one of the most pressing issues of our time: food.“NCA’s annual awards honor communication scholars’ teaching, scholarship, and service,” NCA Executive Director Trevor Parry-Giles said. “NCA is proud to recognize Dr. Dutta’s significant contributions to the Communication discipline with this award.”Dr. Dutta’s award will be presented virtually on November 21 at the NCA 106th Annual Convention. For more information about NCA’s awards program, visit http://www.natcom.org/awards/. About the National Communication AssociationThe National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit natcom.org, follow us on Twitter at @natcomm, and find us on Facebook.#ResearchAwards#NationalCommunicationAssociationAwards#CharlesHWoolbertResearchAward#GoldenAnniversaryMonographAward

Professor Mohan Dutta’s book “Communicating health: A culture-centered approach” receives Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association Health Communication

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation team congratulates Professor Mohan Dutta on the Outstanding Book Award from the National Communication Association Health Communication Division to his book, “Communicating health: A culture-centered approach” published with Polity. The book lays out the foundational concepts of the #CultureCenteredApproach (CCA), a meta-theoretical framework for health communication organizing, advocacy, and activism directed at transforming the deeply unequal structures that constitute health inequalities. The impact of the book, and its key theoretical argument on the CCA is felt globally, shaping two decades of health activism, health communication solutions, health interventions, and advocacy to shape health policy. Most vitally, the framework put forth in the book is recognized by global policy organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe and the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization UNESCO, as a lens for exploring the connections between culture and health. Cited over 485 times across #CommunicationStudies, #MedicalAnthropology, #Geography, #Sociology, #PublicHealth and #Medicine, the book has formed the basis of over 200 MA theses and doctoral dissertations.

#CultureCenteredApproach#CARECCA#CAREMassey#MasseyCJM#MasseyUni#NationalCommunicationAssociation#HealthCommunication#CommunicatingHealth#WorldHealthOrganisation#UNESCO#PolityPress

CARE Research: Culture-Centered Processes of Community Organizing in COVID-19 Response: Notes From Kerala and Aotearoa

Check out our latest research article published in Frontiers journal.

Title: Culture-Centered Processes of Community Organizing in COVID-19 Response: Notes From Kerala and Aotearoa New Zealand by Prof. Mohan Dutta, Christine Elers and Pooja Jayan, CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation, Massey University

Overview: The culture-centered processes of community organizing drawn on the case studies of community organizing in Communist Kerala and in Iwi-led Māori checkpoints in settler colonial Aotearoa New Zealand foreground the vital work of alternative practices of health response, serving as the basis for robust alternative imaginations amid the pandemic.

Here is the link to the full article –
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcomm.2020.00062/full#h9

#CultureCenteredProcesses #CommunityOrganizing #COVID19Response #Kerala #Aotearoa #NewZealand #CCA #CAREMassey #CARECCA #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

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This is Me: Professor Mohan Dutta

Q & A with Prof. Mohan Dutta by Gabriella Davila, Senior Communications Advisor, Massey University

Staff questions and answers

Professor Mohan Dutta is the Director of global research hub, Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) which relocated to Massey in 2018 from Singapore.  He is also Dean’s Chair, Professor of Communication at the School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing.

His research examines marginalisation in contemporary health/healthcare, health care inequalities, the intersections of poverty and health experiences at the margins, and the political economy of global health policies.

Mohan has received more than $6 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication, social change, and health advocacy. Working broadly on social change interventions designed to achieve the sustainable development goals Mohan has directed seven documentaries, run more than 20 360 degrees advocacy campaigns, and guided the building of various wellbeing infrastructures from irrigation systems and cultural spaces to health care systems and city design. His impact on global policy-making is evident in his advisory roles with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

He has written and edited 10 books and more than 200 articles and book chapters. Earlier this month, he published the book, “Communication, culture and social change: Meaning, co-option, and resistance” with Palgrave MacMillan. He has previously been recognised as an Outstanding Applied/Public Policy Communication Researcher of the ICA and Outstanding Health Communication Researcher of the National Communication Association). Earlier this month he was named a Fellow of the International Communication Association

Can you tell us about your childhood?

I grew up in a middle-class family in a town called Kharagpur in West Bengal, in the eastern part of India in a family of teachers, union organisers, Left party workers, and activists. My childhood in many ways was very simple but also enriching, surrounded by people that were engaged in wanting to make change in the world.

I also grew up in what’s called in India a joint family which is quite similar to the concept of whānau in Aotearoa. We had this one house where two of my dad’s sisters and seven brothers all lived together with my grandmother who was the matriarch and played a key role in holding the family together. I was brought up with 18 cousins and it was quite beautiful in terms of this idea of a collective and a broader whānau caring for each other. This collective played a big role in terms of my own learning and support because when I got a scholarship to go study in the US, for instance, even just arranging the flight ticket didn’t just fall on my dad. My uncles and cousins all chipped in to pay for that money and that is how the broader collective is organised.

What did you like learning when you were a child?

My interests were pretty wide ranging. I loved sciences very much and I did my undergraduate degree in engineering. I really loved maths, physics, biology, and at the same time I also loved English, geography and history.

Learning happened for me inside the classroom but also outside of the classroom and I learned being on picket lines with say an uncle or being a street performer. When I was around 11 or 12, I started performing in many street plays with the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) and often the plays were held at protest marches. When I was growing up, India had strong spaces of resistance against The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). And those were great moments of learning because they taught you in terms of the power of a broader collective and building registers for change against the individualising logics of neoliberalism.

Can you tell us about your most inspiring teacher and why?

My eldest uncle was the headmaster of the local school and I learned a lot witnessing how transformative his impact was, certainly not just in the small little community but in the broader township where we lived and his ability to touch lives.

I had another uncle who was a maths teacher and a union organiser. Early in the mornings on the weekends, children of many different ages would come to our house or sit down with him and learn in an open space. I think that those moments taught me that teaching can be transformative, it can create pathways of mobility for others, and it can make a big difference in society.

How and when did you decide what your career would be?

After I completed my undergraduate engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), I realised I didn’t want to continue with engineering and instead I wanted to do something that had to do with human beings and connecting with them and interacting with them.

It seemed to me that in very disenfranchised communities, the challenge of wellbeing was not one of developing engineering and more technical solutions, but really a challenge of communication in terms of how to communicate and where communities can have a voice in creating policies and solutions that address their needs.

I think that interest in wanting to develop a pedagogy of voice and how those communities have a say was the turning point. I realised that my training as an agricultural engineer at an elite Indian university that produces technology leaders (many CEOs and technopreneurs across the globe are IIT graduates) was quite limited because it didn’t really teach you how to work with the communities that you wanted to develop solutions for. Communication was and is often the missing link, when you consider the challenges of poverty, health and wellbeing, clean drinking water, decent work, inequality and justice outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals.

In one sentence can you describe the purpose of your present position?

I am the Director of Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) and what we do as a collective of researchers, community organisers, activists and communities, is to develop methods of communication and radical democracy so that communities can have a voice and really, have a say in the policies and solutions that are created, and in defining the futures that they would like to live in.

How did you decide to relocate CARE to New Zealand?

CARE’swork is with very disenfranchised communities and there can sometimes be some significant challenges when working within specific authoritarian contexts such as Singapore, neo-fascist India under the Modi regime, or China. Certainly, the Center was up against some significant state pressures when working with rights of low-wage migrant workers and questions of poverty in Singapore.

After pushing against the system and the structure for six years, I was at that point thinking what could this look like if CARE was in a system that was more aligned with its values and philosophy.

We had a number of choices in terms of whether to move the research centre to the US, and whether to move to some other parts of Asia such as Hong Kong, but New Zealand was really appealing because of the confluence of the politics and the ethics of care in the country.

Do you believe that what you do changes people’s lives?

Absolutely. I want to say this with humility, that as an academic who works on communication for social change, one learns very quickly that change takes a long time. It also takes a lot of commitment, not just in terms of one’s role as an academic but I think the commitment of people and communities and other researchers and activists to make change happen.

Having said that, I think that we have a lot of evidence that what we do actually impacts lives and contributes to better outcomes of health and wellbeing. For instance, when you witness our work in rural India in very disenfranchised indigenous communities living in extreme poverty, CARE’s work has translated into building sources of clean drinking water. These communities would otherwise have to dig deep into the ground and get water through a filtering process. In those contexts, we work on developing community democracy to get access through development structures and institutions to clean drinking water.

We work with people on developing methods of advocacy and activism and this very idea of community democracy succeeds in very tangible ways. From designing development infrastructures rooted in democracy to designing hospitals, cities, and health care systems that are anchored in social justice, CARE makes real impact in people’s lives. Also, our work in communities is not episodic. Instead, these are sustained interventions developed through a commitment of a lifetime.

What do you like doing when you’re not working?

Fatherhood brings much joy and meaning in my life. Debalina [wife] and I have three children and we hang out with them, take them places and play with them. That really takes up the rest of the time outside of work. I am privileged and blessed being a father and really enjoy it.

Source: Gabriella Davila, Senior Communications Advisor, Massey University.

CARE News: Professor Mohan Dutta named ICA Fellow

Professor Mohan Dutta has been named a Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA)


Professor Mohan Dutta.

ICA is an international association which aims to advance the scholarly study of human communication by encouraging and facilitating excellence in academic research worldwide. Fellow status is a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication, and is based on a documented record of scholarly achievement.

Professor Dutta, Dean’s Chair Professor and Director, Centre for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), says the honour is humbling.

Based on his work on healthcare among indigenous communities, sex workers, migrant workers, farmers, and communities living in extreme poverty, Professor Dutta has developed a framework called the culture-centred approach that outlines culturally-based participatory strategies of radical democracy for addressing unequal health policies. The culture-centered approach centres the voices of communities at the global margins.

“I see this as a recognition of the work of the culture-centered approach (CCA) in crafting out solidarities with communities at the margins in addressing entrenched injustices globally. The voices and struggles of disenfranchised communities for social justice forms the foundation of this work that our community-activist-advocate-researcher teams have been carrying out over the last two decades.

“Now more than ever, amidst racist processes of marginalisation, structural attacks on the poor, depletion of democratic spaces, challenges of climate injustice, and a pandemic that is further disenfranchising the poor and the working classes, I see the CCA as an anchor for a communicative register for care and equality across global struggles at/of the margins,” he says.

Professor Dutta has received over $6 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication, social change, and health advocacy. Professor Dutta has directed seven documentaries, run over twenty advocacy interventions, and guided the building of various wellbeing infrastructures from irrigation systems to health care systems. He has written and edited ten books and over 200 articles and book chapters. He has previously been recognised as an Outstanding Applied/Public Policy Communication Researcher of the ICA and Outstanding Health Communication Researcher of the National Communication Association (NCA). 

Professor Dutta will travel to the United States to receive a plaque during the ICA presidential awards ceremony in May 2021.

CARE Director Professor Mohan Dutta participated in a call-in conversation, “Are we racist?” with Jacinta Parsons

CARE Director Professor Mohan Dutta participated in a call-in conversation, “Are we racist?” with Jacinta Parsons at ABC Radio Australia, discussing Black Lives Matter, racism, Whiteness, and the colonizing project.

“As tensions around race and racism boil over in America is it time for Australians to look closer to home?

Image Source: VectorStock

Prof Mohan Dutta is Director of the Centre for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at New Zealand’s Massey University and he joins Jacinta Parsons and her listeners for a frank and illuminating discussion.

Duration: 24min 43sec
Broadcast: Wed 3 Jun 2020, 12:30pm”

Here’s a link to the dialogue.

https://www.abc.net.au/…/…/afternoons/are-we-racist/12317616

CARE Read-In: “End the Hate” Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Come and join us for this open for all online-event at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation for CARE Read-In: “End the Hate” Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Date: Monday, 8th June @ 6PM NZST via Zoom

To Participate in the Read-In on Zoom click on the link: https://massey.zoom.us/j/97659469324

Note: The Waiting Room will open 10 minutes prior to the broadcast

Facebook Live Link: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/posts/3769401759742868

About the event: “#EndTheHate” is a campaign co-created by a community of indigenous, migrant, and refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand. In solidarity with the voices of #BlackLivesMatter activists across the globe, we welcome you to this performative reading on racism, police violence, incarceration, and Whiteness. Through this co-creative reading, we hope to build a discursive register for voices that seek to dismantle the racist structures of White supremacy. Please join with essays, poems, stories as we create together registers for dismantling Whiteness.

#Solidarity #BlackLivesMatter #EndTheHate

#CAREMassey #MasseyCJM #MasseyUni

Research Roundtable Communication Inequalities and Discursive Erasures – The Fate of Migrant Labour during the COVID-19 Crisis in India- Prof. Mohan Dutta, Massey University


Facebook Event:https://www.facebook.com/events/177930590264625/

Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad presents
Research Round Table Online

Communication Inequalities and Discursive Erasures: The Fate of Migrant Labour during the COVID-19 Crisis in India
by Prof. Mohan Dutta, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, New Zealand
Monday, June 01, 2020 / 12:00 PM

Abstract: COVID19 makes visible the deep inequalities that are written into the extremely neoliberal cities of the twenty-first century. The imaginaries of “smart” “future” and “digital” that punctuate the propaganda infrastructures of postcolonial urbanism are disrupted by narrative accounts of lived struggles with sustenance and survival at the subaltern margins. In this talk, drawing on my ongoing ethnographic work with the subaltern margins of urban India, and more specifically from in-depth interviews conducted with low-wage migrant workers expelled into the highways of death amidst the lockdown, I will theorize the normalization of hyper-precarity, discardability and death of the poor into the neoliberal propaganda infrastructure. Finally, drawing on the culture-centered approach, I will theorize the possibilities of a Left radical imaginary anchored in organizing hyper-precarious workers.

Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Mohan Dutta’s research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies of radical democracy serve as axes of global social change.

Meeting ID: 949 6306 7484
Password: rrto@mohan

The CARE Papers: International Communication Association (ICA) 2020

Professor Mohan Dutta and the CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation team present their papers for the 2020 International Communication Association (ICA Official Page)

Facebook Premiere Video: https://www.facebook.com/CAREMassey/videos/1165578763784918/

The CARE Papers: ICA 2020

Professor Mohan J Dutta and the CARE team present their papers for the 2020 ICA Conference

Posted by CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on Friday, 29 May 2020

CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation is proud to share that our social impact in the communication field further complemented by the theoretical and empirical impact.

This year at ICA 2020 – 70th Annual Conference, #CAREMassey has 21 (approximately) papers/panels/presentations slotted. This is a great achievement for CARE which is made possible by the contributions of CARE’s hard working staff and dedicated researchers all across the globe, who have worked collectively to achieve this brilliance. Here are some of the paper presentations at this year’s ongoing 70th ICA Virtual Conference.

Check out the list of a few papers on our website
https://www.massey.ac.nz/~wwcare/2020/05/18/care-ica-2020-70th-annual-ica-virtual-conference/

#ICAHDQ2020#ICA2020#CAREMasseyPapers#MasseyUni#CAREMassey#MasseyCJM#NewZealand#CultureCenteredApproach