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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

W. Barnett Pearce

Second Advisor

Vernon E. Cronen

Third Advisor

Gerald M. Platt


A critique from a communication perspective focuses on reciprocal relations among "patterns of Interaction" and the "social realities" of various agents. In development programs in India, the agents include government bureaucracy and the masses. The critique is based on three sets of information: 1) a review of international communication providing an "international perspective" on Indian development programs; 2) a review of Indian development programs and development communication in India focusing on the development activities, reasons behind these activities and the conventional wisdom about the effects of these programs; and 3) a study of development "participation effectiveness" in a rural and rurban community. The study describes the patterns of communication about various development projects, relationships among communication patterns; forms of participation in development programs, cognitive/attitudinal variables (awareness, discontent, motivation, etc.), and the adoption of various development objectives. Results suggest startling conclusions: existing patterns of communication and the people's perception of government pose a major impediment to continued development. Development programs are well received by the people and are effective but produce "dependence." The social environments of the poor exacerbate this effect, and the ineffective development delivery system heightens discontent. To intercept this spiral of discontent/dependency, the government has relied on mass media and government agents. The data indicates that these are the least effective means of communication, but perhaps the best available, given the social structure of the two coraiiiunities. The one-way mass media model has only information-generation function whereas the two-way interpersonal model does not urge people for participation. A different communication handling is needed for conurbation communities and women as compared to rural and men. The dysfunctional effects of development communication suggest a poor communication dialogue.