The poetics of water governance : differential language use in relation to water in El Salvador Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/4m90dx21q

June, 2009

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  • The language of water policy both suggests and enforces the relationship that the public should have with water. Differences in language use between policy institutions and the public suggest that the understanding of water promoted through policy may be incongruent with the understanding of water held by the public. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with residents of two rural communities in El Salvador, local and regional government institutions, as well as local and international NGOs. A discourse analysis of these interviews demonstrates that there is a significant difference between the language utilized by community members and the language used by policy-making institutions with respect to water and water use. This difference in discourse may signify a difference in understanding regarding water and people’s relationship to water, which may ultimately compromise the effectiveness of water policy in rural areas of El Salvador. Furthermore, the introduction and prevalence of policy discourse at the community level may contribute to the elimination of the community discourse and subsequently the loss of the community’s particular understanding of water. This research suggests that, in order to create a policy discourse that more closely resembles community discourse and evokes a similar understanding of water, language must be used that connotes affection, that connotes ownership and obligation, and that is grounded in geographic context.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Brent Steel (bsteel@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-08-03T16:11:01Z No. of bitstreams: 1 ogden.pdf: 694768 bytes, checksum: 58bb255c78a0b246d2112ea49e94591c (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2009-08-03T17:12:21Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 ogden.pdf: 694768 bytes, checksum: 58bb255c78a0b246d2112ea49e94591c (MD5)
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