The Wheel as a Metaphor for Power Relationships in Community Development and Community Capacity Building.

The wheel symbolises a community that is not governed by the power over principle – it recognises that people fulfil different functions and roles, but does not accept that any one or group is at the top and others are consequently subservient; it recognises that officials and appointed leaders are at the centre, while the people are outside and hitting the tarmac therefore feeling the pressures and grind of everyday life; while the wheel turns there is a continual change of who is at the top and who is at the bottom depending on the phase of the cycle; this is all held together by the informal and volunteer leadership ; this also symbolises the interdependence of all three categories; it should also be noticed that the wheel is much more intricate and complex than just the three basic systems pointed out with many “in between” parts and parts that seem to cross over from one the to the next system – this alludes to the fact that not all is clear cut and that people may play any number of different roles. I guess the metaphor can be taken even further, for example:
The nuts links the community to other communities through the axis – strength of axis symbolises the quality of the link, or relationship.
The axis links to gear box which links to the engine – which could symbolise internal and external resources.
The chassis of the vehicle is linked to the body and the rest of the vehicle – which could symbolise higher level government and non-government structures.
The entire car is on the road and passes by, meets up with other vehicles and so on which symbolises the place of communities in the global reality – think global act local comes to mind.


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