Back with a Devcomm Doctorate

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By Linda Grace Cariño

Baguio Stories

Friday, July 11, 2014


"DEV comm." Buzz words of the 70s that used to draw much flack when conceptually introduced into the Philippine educational paradigm deep into the notorious Martial Law years. Why flack? Because a perception then was that the whole concept of “development communication” seemed to be designed to further dictatorial aims – i.e., messages could thus be programmed into the minds of the Filipinos masses to ensure that they were happy slaves to said dictatorial aims. Hmmm... That said, the decades have since seen the buzz words and the concept evolve into a now full blown field. In the UP System, it is the UPLB that offers a doctorate program in Development Communication, from which the UPB’s Department of Communication’s Faye Sta. Maria-Abalos has just arrived.

Asked about how Development Communication suits into UPB’s interdisciplinary objective, Faye’s words: “Development communication is very much interdisciplinary because it is applied social sciences.

Scientific method of research inquiry is theorized and then applied in varied problems in communities and societies. What it primarily forwards is the use of communication. Communication as a vital tool in propagating development and how it directly shapes language and societies.” Can’t get more interdisciplinary than that. The question actually is, is UPB truthfully interdisciplinary or is it just lip service, as some faculty believe? Ah, to ponder.

But back to Faye. How relevant to the real world is “DevComm?” She answers that “ … the context of communicating is focused on (re)constructs and challenging the paradigm of development in varied experiences in the community and society, development communication as a field of study is relevant in forwarding changes. The communication practitioner takes in the role of catalyst for social change that should speak of the sentiments, experience and perspective of the community and society to which development is being implemented. In the context of my dissertation, development communication is helpful in poverty studies to enable workable, applicable and adaptable strategies of poor communities. Development communication is conscious of the voice of marginalized which is its bias." That said.

We welcome back to UPB Faye Sta. Maria-Abalos, Ph.D. No, people, the Dr. comes in front of your name only when you’re a MEDICAL doctor, okay. And any Ph.D. should know that. How’s that for some devcomm.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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