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University–Community Relationships

  • By: Sydney Dillard
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

As the health communication field has started to shift toward a more conscientious focus on underserved and disenfranchised populations, a burgeoning interest has developed in further understanding the relationship between universities and communities in partnership for change. The concept of university–community partnerships (UCP) surfaced as tensions between achieving scientific rigor through traditional reductionistic research designs clashed with the results of real-world health interventions within localized communities. Most essential to the underlying discussion are questions of conflicting value systems between universities and communities, and the negotiation of these divergences as both partners strive to achieve a common goal.

UCP developed as a concept under scrutiny in health communication with the advent of work from scholars such as William Foote Whyte in Participatory Action Research (PAR) as well ...

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