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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examination of an abundance approach to sustainability in Macheke, Zimbabwe
by Madziva, Moleen, Ph.D., Prescott College, 2015, 219; 3712641
Abstract (Summary)

Objective/Background: The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions that villagers of Macheke, Zimbabwe have with regards to the natural and human resources that exist within their community that could be useful for sustainable development. The researcher will explore the abundance approach to sustainability. The emerging theme of abundance consciousness (whose premise resonates with positive psychology) refers to one’s state of well-being that is firmly rooted in the belief that there is more than enough for everyone. Zimbabwe is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. UNDP places an emphasis on lack and deficiency by equating poverty with disease, high infant mortality, low life expectancy, malnutrition, hunger, lack of access to water, education, knowledge, public and private resources, housing, clothes, and security (UNDP, 2005). The new thinking suggests that viewing rural communities from a place of abundance rather than deficiency may contribute to reducing poverty in a more sustainable way.

Methodology/Findings: The design of the study is based on participatory action research and ethnographic methods. The researcher conducted surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews with inhabitants (n = 147) of Macheke, including students, educators, and local residents. By and large, the people of Macheke do not view themselves as poor, and they are not necessarily waiting for their situation to drastically change in order to be genuinely happy. The resources that can be used in a sustainable development protocol include: traditional ecological knowledge (which promotes environmental sustainability) and the prevalent spirit of gratitude, hope, and faith (which promotes social well-being).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Medrick, Rick
Commitee: Caniglia, Noel, Gupta, Susan, Hirschler, Chris
School: Prescott College
Department: Education / Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Sub Saharan Africa Studies, Sustainability
Keywords: Abundance, Community development, Happiness, Poverty, Sustainability, Zimbabwe
Publication Number: 3712641
ISBN: 978-1-321-89605-3
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