Questioning dominant development practices: Emerging voices of indigenous subalterns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Guided by modernist monologic epistemologies, the dominant approach to subaltern development espouses economic-centered interventions. Contemporary theorization of development argues that the process fundamentally operates as a discourse to depict the underserved as the site of control. Further, it unilaterally exercises structural forces and applies hegemonic logic to create, sustain, and reinforce the material and communicative marginalization. The culture-centered approach (CCA), an alternative critical communicative framework, calls for a reflexive engagement with the narratives and discourses that emerges from the lived experiences of the subalterns. Grounded in the CCA, this paper uses subaltern discourses to consider the nature and consequences of dominant development practices on the lives of indigenous subalterns of the Himalayan region of eastern India. As such, this study, on the one hand, examines how dominant development practices operate as discourse and creates conditions of marginalization in subaltern spaces. On the other hand, this analysis seeks to foreground the narratives of communicative absences, discursive violence, and subaltern negotiations in the dialogic spaces of decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-188
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of International Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Communication for development
  • Culture-centered approach
  • India
  • Indigenous people
  • Subaltern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Questioning dominant development practices: Emerging voices of indigenous subalterns'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this