Posts Tagged poverty
We have put a short extract from a long interview with Peter Townsend on the stories page. Click here…Peter Townsend interview
Here is an even shorter extracts which speaks a little about the troubles of 1968…
The crisis can be seen in large and small terms. I think, in large terms, there was a sort of revolutionary potential about some of the attitudes and values which we’ve been speaking about, which are a threat to established elites and classes. It’s almost like saying we were moving too fast into what collective gains and action would mean, and what democratic values, when properly spelt out, would lead to in terms of the organisation of society, including universities. There was that revolutionary potential, there’s no good getting away from it. And yet there were smaller issues to do with individual human rights and justice, not smaller in some important particulars of course, but where you can actually obtain restitution and acknowledgement of a dignified position more easily than you can obtain structural change, which is what I was implying a moment ago. So 1968 was extraordinary, because although, looking back, I’m sure we were, British students were influenced by what was going on on the Continent, it seemed to be something just being taken up in different universities, and certainly students in different universities became very quickly aware of what was going on among them. It started with a protest about Porton Down, and students who attempted to prevent a particular lecture taking place, and the Vice-Chancellor feeling that an example ought to be set, and the student body believing that this was an issue of freedom to protest, and this was such a serious issue that it didn’t fit easily into the customary treatment of protests about other events. And one thing led to another. The students were sent down, sent away from the University. There were appeals, there were protests within the University which escalated to such a degree that a thousand and more people attended some of the assemblies. I mean, the entire University, including all its staff, attended a few of the meetings. And this was extraordinary by anyone’s standards, before or since in my career, because although it of course swallowed up time that might otherwise have been given to teaching and learning, and research, it was quite unprecedented to have one’s nose rubbed in the whole business of what kind of society were we living in and working in, and how should it be organised, and who should have a right to have a say, and be involved in a decision that was taken? And we went through one of these principles after another, and it was very exhilarating, one has to say, I have to say, because it was like going over all the taken-for-granted aspects of professional life, shaking them up, and inviting each of us to re-cast the result.
For more, click on Peter Townsend Interview
I graduated with MA Sociology of Development, Essex University, July 1989. After completing my studies at Essex, I came back to Botswana to continue my work as A Rural Sociologist in the applied Research Unit of the Botswana Ministry of Local Government. I consider my experience at Essex to have been useful in grounding my work as a Social Scientist. I am an interdisciplinary Sociologist, an Adult and health educator with a wealth of more than twenty eight years of professional experience from different workplaces: first worked as a Rural Sociologist (Sanitation) for the Ministry of Local Government (six years), Training Officer for De Beers Botswana Diamond Mining Company (DEBSWANA), Jwaneng mine, (one year) Program officer, Social Mobilization, for UNICEF Gaborone, (two years), an independent consultant (one year) and finally as a Lecturer, (twelve years), a Lecturer in Adult Education, (four years) University of Botswana, from January 1994; Senior lecturer (four years) from April 2006; and Associate Professor from January 25th 2011 to- date.
I have a passion for research work and use my experience in Qualitative Methodology from Essex to do part time consultancy work when given the opportunity to do so. Essex has given me the chance to grow to be a seasoned senior researcher and scholar. Since 1991, I have done total of 19 part- time research- based consultancy projects for the Government of Botswana and international development partners. Regionally, I have also served as principal investigator on the Botswana side for a collaborative research project on Non- Formal Education and poverty reduction with four other universities under the auspices of British Academy African Partnership Initiative (BAAP) from March 2006 to March 2009. I visited the University of Glasgow annually for meetings with my research partners while the partnership lasted.
I served as a coordinator (Jan 2010-August 2011) for the Botswana Chapter on an 18 months collaborative research project on Implementing the Third Mission of Universities in Africa (ITMUA) regional collaborative research since January 2010 to August 2011. The project, sponsored by AAU/DIFD, involved three other universities: Calabar, Malawi, and the National University of Lesotho. A book on Community Engagement in Four African Universities has been published from the research case studies. I am presently on sabattical leave from June 2012 till May 2013 to write a 16 chapter book on Lifelong learning, poverty, community development and engagement.
My areas of research, publications and activism include environmental education, gender issues; the social context of health, Adult and Continuing Education, entrepreneurship skills development, instructional media and materials development, the global impacts of HIV/AIDs, gender-based poverty and poverty identity formation, literacy and post -literacy. I would welcome any opportunity to reconnect with Essex Sociology Department in any ways in which I can be helpful to pay back part of the price.