Culturally-Centering Social Change: Notes from the CARE Lab

“Communication inequalities map out structural inequalities, and therefore, inverting these inequalities symbolically and materially lie at the heart of social change processes” notes Professor Mohan Dutta, Founding Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE). CARE was inaugurated with the goal of developing social projects grounded in the culture-centered approach (CCA) developed by Dutta since the late 1990s, with an emphasis on empirically testing the key tenets of the approach in carrying out grassroots-driven social change processes, fine-tuning research design in implementing community-academic partnerships, and in theoretically outlining the processes of communication and culture that are intertwined in the development of social change processes, policies, and programs. Read More

‘Black Day’ for LGBT Rights in India

Black day   As I walked into the HIV/AIDS Alliance office in Hyderabad, India, I met Vijay Nair, Program Manager, Pehchan, who appeared distressed. Shaking my hand, he said it is a ‘black day’ for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community in India. I did not immediately grasp what he meant. He explained that the Supreme court of India had rejected a progressive Delhi High court judgement that decriminalised Section 377, an 1861 colonial law banning same-sex behaviour among consenting adults, which is punishable upto 10-years in prison. Instead, the Supreme Court wanted the Indian Parliament to change the law. Read More