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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2007): Community regeneration and development - UK

Community development: Freire and Grameen in the Barrowfield Project, Glasgow, Scotland

C. Matheson and D. Matheson

Development in Practice, vol.18, 2008, p. 30-39

This article is an attempt to examine one of the better known failures in UK community development, the Barrowfield Project in Glasgow (1986-1996) and to compare and contrast it with the some other attempts at community development, especially those associated with the work of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and Paulo Freire in Latin America. The architects of the Barrowfield Project claimed to espouse the philosophy of Freire and aimed to empower (or manipulate) the local community to change its behaviour and identify with the values of mainstream society. The authors conclude that the project failed because there was no pre-existing community in Barrowfield, where the local population was sunk in apathy and despair.

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