The Drum Beat 605 - Soul City's Theory of Social and Behaviour Change -
"Effective social and behavior change communication interventions tend to be based on sound theory (often a range of theories or models...) that grounds the strategic framework whilst allowing enough flexibility to allow implementation in different contexts."
This issue of The Drum Beat looks deeper into a paper that describes the social and behaviour change model that shapes the work of one of The CI's Partners: the South Africa-based Soul City Institute for Health & Development Communication - http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/fdda35000eb7f89f6170d6c6cd6b867f?node=
Soul City utilises the strategy of education-entertainment ("edutainment") in an effort to achieve real, measurable social change for individuals and communities in South Africa, Southern Africa, and Africa, particularly as far as HIV prevention and violence reduction via alcohol control are concerned. The tools of their trade are mass media like television (e.g., Soul Buddyz - to read more, see: http://www.comminit.com/africa/search/apachesolr_search/soul%20buddyz?filters=tid:38), social mobilisation in the form of community-based clubs for children, and advocacy via different interventions. The paper explores how theory informs all of Soul City's strategies and activities.
Below please find excerpted core points from the paper as well as further summaries and links that are intended to spark further thinking about Soul City's social and behaviour change model.
For a summary of the paper and access to the full paper, please see: http://www.comminit.com/africa/content/soul-city%E2%80%99s-theory-social-and-behaviour-change
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THE ESSENCE: SOUL CITY AND THEORY
"Soul City understands that theories and models are developed in the context of specific behaviour and that a single generic theory will not explain all behaviours in all contexts equally well. Thus in the context of broader health promotion- and societal-level frameworks (where macro-societal factors are understood to shape individual behaviour from higher levels of scale), the main components of Soul City's theory of social and behaviour change comprise the dynamic integration of a number of models of behaviour and theories of change."
These theories include:
1. Bandura's Theory of Social Learning, which states that people learn through observation, imitation, and modeling. Self-efficacy influences behaviour in that people are more likely to engage in certain behaviours when they believe they are capable of successfully modeling the behaviour.
* For an example of a programme drawing upon Bandura's theory, see:
Neighbors Radio Drama
* For a 10-minute YouTube video on Bandura's theory, see: http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/ef7d90b008d59219bd25fca6e704e6af?node=
2. Lewin's Theory of Change, which "adds the role of emotion, dialogue and debate to an understanding of how behaviour change takes place: behaviour (often resistant to change) is lifted up for scrutiny (sometimes through an 'emotional stir-up') and reconfigured through a process of discursive elaboration (dialogue and debate) of new and preferable alternatives."
* For more on Lewin's Theory of Change (with an accompanying video), see: http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/bacc9967686ca488e98e3476f3b7e30b?node=
3. Paulo Freire's concept of critical consciousness, which emphasises awareness-raising and the exposure of social, economic, and political contradictions, together with taking action (individually and/or collectively) against "the oppressive elements of society". The notion of learning-through-action-and-reflection underlies Soul City's community-based work. "As in the case of individual behaviour, collective efficacy is important in that communities are more likely to take action if they believe their action will make a difference."
* For more on Freire's theory, see:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire - An Analysis
* For an example of an initiative drawing on Freire's theory, see:
Applying Freirian Model for Development and Evaluation of Community-based Rehabilitation Programmes
4. Social Identity Theory, which presents an explanatory account of the importance of social norms in determining behaviour. "Social identification with a reference group is a key component of identity." "Social identity" refers to the individual's knowledge that he or she belongs to certain social groups and that this group membership has emotional significance and value. "Positive social identity keeps groups together and at the same time regulates individual behaviour."
* For more on this theory, see Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory, by Jan E. Stets and Peter J. Burke, Social Psychology Quarterly 2000, Vol. 63, No. 3, 224-237: http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/902a09a84450d8a0a494c93c12301b61?node=
5. Cialdini's Focus Theory of Normative Conduct, which elaborates on the role of norms in determining behaviour. The theory distinguishes between descriptive and injunctive norms. "How a person responds to a descriptive or injunctive norm when they contradict each other is determined by which kind of norm is salient (or in focus) at the time. The saliency of the norm is influenced by situational factors such as: the social group around the person; the importance of the action; and the circumstances which accompany the situation."
* See, for example, this summary of an article by Robert B. Cialdini on The Soul Beat Africa site: New Ways to Promote Proenvironmental Behavior: The Application of Persuasion Theory to the Development Of Effective Proenvironmental Public Service Announcements
6. Information-Motivation-Behaviour-Skills model, which is a learning-based model that acknowledges the role of social norms and peer modeling, and highlights knowledge, attitudes, generic self efficacy, and instrumental behavioural skills in bringing about behaviour change.
* Please see this summary of a thesis that explores this and other theories might be of interest:
Evaluating Mass Media Health Communication: The Use of Evaluation Data to Improve Theory
7. Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour, which states that the 3 most important factors determining the probability of behaviour are habit, intention, and facilitating conditions. The theory further explains the role of beliefs, anticipated outcomes, norms, roles, self-concept, emotions, and attitudes in determining behaviour.
* A thesis which is focused on this theory includes: Triandis' Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour in Understanding Software Piracy Behaviour in the South African Context, by Julie Robinson, August 10 2010 http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/fdbaf073c621d39e594837f9568ca791?node=
8. Gibbons and Gerard's Prototype/Willingness Model, which introduces the concepts of "risk images" and "social comparison" and has been used to understand the process whereby young people in particular move from initial risky behaviours (based on "behavioural willingness") to established risky behaviours (based on "behavioural intention").
* For more on this model, see the following summary:
Do High- and Low-active Adolescents Have Different Prototypes of Physically Active Peers?
9. A Complexity Thinking Approach, whereby behaviour is seen as the product of interactions between components of a whole system. The concept is that these interactions create effects (often unforeseen) which the components could not have generated singly (i.e. the whole is more than the sum of its parts). "Informed by an understanding of Complexity Theory, Soul City's interventions aim to facilitate a process whereby options and solutions peculiar to a particular context can emerge. Thus through advocacy, social mobilization and media, Soul City facilitates the capacity to learn and models the direction of change whilst addressing many of the barriers to change."
* For more on complexity thinking, see:
Evaluating Social Change and Communication For Social Change: New Perspectives
Please find more information relevant to Soul City's Theory of Social and Behaviour Change as follows:
* On the Soul City website: http://www.comminit.com/clickthru/fdda35000eb7f89f6170d6c6cd6b867f?node=
* On Soul Beat Africa's Edutainment themesite: http://www.comminit.com/category/sites/africa/edutainment-africa
* On CI Global's Entertainment-Education themesite:
* In The Drum Beat 595 - Impact Series #2: Soul City - Demonstrating Impact on Social and Behaviour Change
* In C-Capacity #11 - Resources on Theory
For a summary of the Soul City paper and access to the full paper, please see: http://www.comminit.com/africa/content/soul-city%E2%80%99s-theory-social-and-behaviour-change
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership - ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Calandria, CIDA, Citurnas ldta., DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Ford Foundation, Heartlines, Imaginario, Inter-American Development Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Ohio University, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
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