The present work analyses the role of Folkcommunication in scientific communication, in a wide understanding of the concept, including technological, health and environmental issues, as a communication strategy for promoting local and sustainable development in emerging countries and underdeveloped communitites. Folkcommunication is the main contribution of Luis Beltrão, pioneering Brazilian communication theory researcher and journalist and is understood as the set of ideas, messagens and communications performed to and by rural and socially marginalized populations, by means of agents, directly or indirectly, related to folklore and popular culture. As an alternative to a traditional mass media communication that fulfills the necessities of the ruling classes, marginalized communities use these expontaneous and popular manifestations, expressed by means of rituals, legends, feasts and other channels of popular culture to access this information. Based upon classical functionalist communication theorists as Schramm, Lazersfeld and Merton, Beltrão extended the two-step flow model of communication to identify the popular culture artist and "folkcommunicational agents", as bridges between the upper classes information and less favoured social groups. Thus, Folkcommunication theory has influenced a whole generation of Latin American theorists that recognize the role of the audience and of its reception in the communication process. In the present work we apply the Folkcommunication concept to science communication, in the sense that local and sustainable development depends upon the effective understanding of scientific, technical, health and environmental issues by receiving communities. Thus, in a similar fashion as the participation-contextual-bidirectional model of science communication, we present the strategies and formats used by Folkcommunication in order engage populations alienated from a scientific culture in science and technology issues, aiming to improve their political participation and economical and social development. The use of popular literature in many genres as (cordel), minstrels (repente), sculpture, paintings, urban grafitti, feasts (Carnival and “festas juninas”) and also digital and ciberspace resourses consist in order do decode ideas, facts and opinions of the elitized culture into peripherical communities, not in a lineal mode of transmission, but in a dialogue and appropriation format. As final conclusion, we suggest that the Folkcommunication model can be used to bridge not only upper and popular culture, but any different cultures, with great relevance for an increasing globalized and multicultural world and for the complex challenges that pervade scientific and technological development.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Folk communication
Contribution of a the Latin American communication theory to the participation model of science communication

Marcelo Sabbatini   Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco

The present work analyses the role of Folkcommunication in scientific communication, in a wide understanding of the concept, including technological, health and environmental issues, as a communication strategy for promoting local and sustainable development in emerging countries and underdeveloped communitites. Folkcommunication is the main contribution of Luis Beltrão, pioneering Brazilian communication theory researcher and journalist and is understood as the set of ideas, messagens and communications performed to and by rural and socially marginalized populations, by means of agents, directly or indirectly, related to folklore and popular culture. As an alternative to a traditional mass media communication that fulfills the necessities of the ruling classes, marginalized communities use these expontaneous and popular manifestations, expressed by means of rituals, legends, feasts and other channels of popular culture to access this information. Based upon classical functionalist communication theorists as Schramm, Lazersfeld and Merton, Beltrão extended the two-step flow model of communication to identify the popular culture artist and "folkcommunicational agents", as bridges between the upper classes information and less favoured social groups. Thus, Folkcommunication theory has influenced a whole generation of Latin American theorists that recognize the role of the audience and of its reception in the communication process. In the present work we apply the Folkcommunication concept to science communication, in the sense that local and sustainable development depends upon the effective understanding of scientific, technical, health and environmental issues by receiving communities. Thus, in a similar fashion as the participation-contextual-bidirectional model of science communication, we present the strategies and formats used by Folkcommunication in order engage populations alienated from a scientific culture in science and technology issues, aiming to improve their political participation and economical and social development. The use of popular literature in many genres as (cordel), minstrels (repente), sculpture, paintings, urban grafitti, feasts (Carnival and “festas juninas”) and also digital and ciberspace resourses consist in order do decode ideas, facts and opinions of the elitized culture into peripherical communities, not in a lineal mode of transmission, but in a dialogue and appropriation format. As final conclusion, we suggest that the Folkcommunication model can be used to bridge not only upper and popular culture, but any different cultures, with great relevance for an increasing globalized and multicultural world and for the complex challenges that pervade scientific and technological development.

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