Associate Professor of Psychological Science Brien Ashdown, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage and Alessa Dixe ’21 have published an article in the International Journal of Community Well-Being.
“The Potentially Damaging Effects of Developmental Aid and Voluntourism on Cultural Capital and Well-Being” explores the idea that foreign and developmental aid “devolves into a form of imperialism and colonialism,” according to the article’s abstract.
Ashdown, Talmage and Dixe use the article to discuss how international and foreign aid impacts community and individual well-being through the destruction of cultural capital, which they define as “the values and worldviews, as well as methods of behaving, thinking and interacting, that a community and its members have utilized for healthy and successful living, both currently and throughout the community’s history.”
The article also offers ideas for best practices and guidelines on how community development professionals and behavioral scientists can provide international aid in ethical and appropriate ways that respect the existing cultural capital of communities receiving aid.
The interdisciplinary focus of the article allowed the authors to pursue innovative methods of inquiry, with Ashdown bringing his expertise as a cross-cultural psychologist and Talmage bringing his interest in how entrepreneurship positively and negatively impacts community well-being.
Talmage explains that “working with faculty and students from different departments or from interdisciplinary programs brings a richness to research that would not be there otherwise,” as it requires “very clear explanations of assumptions and interpretations regarding theory and data.”
Dixe, an English major and psychological sciences minor, contributed by editing the paper, finding supporting research and helping with formatting to meet APA guidelines. “I’m grateful that Professor Ashdown gave me this opportunity,” she says. “When the piece was accepted, it was extremely exciting that all of our hard work had paid off.”
“Alessa is a strong writer,” says Ashdown. “It was really valuable to have her perspective as a student and as an English major to make sure we were producing an article that would be accessible and appreciated by people from various disciplines.”
To read the complete article, click here.