Training as empowering social action

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A recent response to language endangerment has been the rise of training programs in language documentation and conservation. Here we consider the position of training activities within the sociology of language documentation and conservation (LDC) work, specifically focusing on paradigms of ethical research and the relationship between academic and community partners. We examine one training program in depth, InField 2008, which had two distinct components: a set of short workshops, and intensive field training that incorporated language research. Grounding the discussion in the social science literature, we argue that training constitutes empowering social action and that different types of training promote different dimensions of empowerment. Training programs can be organized into a typology that is independent from, but overlaps with, the typology of research paradigms.


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