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< prev - next > Energy Biogas KnO 100619_Biogas Digest vol 1 (Printable PDF)
Disregard of taboos
For the acceptance of exceptions a person or group of persons has a greater effect the more
the taboo and the system behind it is generally recognized. If the system and its leaders
have been accepted they become the only instance to be consulted concerning exceptions.
Any opposition to this group will result in resistance even if individuals within the group are
prepared to disregard the regulations.
It should not be assumed that any recognized leader can disregard taboos or suspend them
and remain unpunished. These people are also part of the system and have to observe the
rules of the system. It is quite right to start lobbying for technical innovations with recognized
leaders, but is also necessary, if they can be won, to leave them with the initiative and allow
them to decide on the procedure of technology introduction.
Just as the general extensive survey provides the basis for the problem analysis and the
starting point of a project, it is essential to recognize that local application cannot be
structured according to a general method but has to be integrated in the local context. To
mention one example, priests are generally seen as religious leaders but this does not mean
that their influence is equal in all localities. Cooperation with priests for local programs should
depend on the quality of their local status.
Social classes and class barriers
In their general features, social classes are the binding structure in each society and an
important phenomenon which has to be reckoned with and included early enough in
planning. It must be taken into account that class structures and class barriers exist in locally
specific variations which have a considerable influence on implementation. Typical deviations
a) For hierarchical societies:
the absence of certain hierarchical groups in a village
the shifting of the hierarchy on account of certain (changing) conditions
a restructuring of the hierarchy for certain projects
b) For more egalitarian societies:
the abolition of egalitarian principles by specific village personalities
the abolition of egalitarian principles by specialization
As these deviations cannot be foreseen, it is wise to compare the results of similar or
comparable projects for the preliminary analysis. An essential preliminary analysis offers the
following possibilities:
the development of a general class model including test criteria to check its local
the potential for the allocation of individual functions
the potential for the allocation of certain jobs
Development of a general model
If such a quite rudimentary model is enriched by additional material from other measures in
neighboring areas, a series of check questions can be derived and applied in the target area
or group. This preliminary model serves as a reference instrument for the main survey and
also as a control for results gained. The latter is very important since over-optimistic
statements can be made by target groups which are interested in project measures. This
applies to the whole project as well as to the allocation of special functions to individual
groups. The model is in no case a substitute for a local survey. Local deviations, possibly on
account of personality, can be so great that they do not principally change the model but can
very much affect the degree of functioning in an initial implementation.
Definition of position of the target group
Equally important to the development of question and control structures is the definition of
position of the target group in relation to neighboring groups. The extensive observation of