The London School of Economics and Political Science
Case Study, Dissertation/Thesis
In this dissertation I explore the hypothesis that appreciative inquiry (AI) used in conjunction with a multimedia extended language methodology is better able to foster self-efficacy, empowerment and hope in participants than traditional critically-focused methodologies relying upon restricted language. I begin by building a theoretical framework for my hypothesis, drawing from the theories of social representations, critical consciousness, AI and extended language to construct a theory of positive consciousness, through which I argue that AI and extended language are able to inspire self-efficacy, empowerment and hope. I then use a narrative analysis of twelve participatory videos recorded and edited by youth groups in four rural communities in southern Costa Rica in response to three different prompts to explore the application of AI and positive consciousness. In general, my findings support the hypothesis that AI is better able to foster self-efficacy and empowerment than the neutral or traditional prompts, through all of the videos have consistently high levels of hope. The results from this limited application of the theory and methodology, while encouraging, suggest the need for future research.