“Cultural development” in Mangaung: reflections on the discourse of a development agency

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English: This study investigates the 12-year involvement of the MUCPP in “cultural development” in Mangaung. Since “development” and “culture” are highly ramified concepts, their application is first explained. Next, since the stance adopted by Ferguson (1990) towards development is particularly useful when considering development discourses, his discussions on development will serve as the theoretical and methodological basis of this article. Thus, the main objective of this study will not be to survey or explain the success or failure of the institutionalised production of “cultural development” in Mangaung. Instead, the article will strive to understand, explain and analyse the “cultural development industry” of the MUCPP in terms of its dominant ideas and its discourse. This will be done within certain constraints, including the paucity of written information. The findings will thus depend largely on interviews conducted to supplement the documentary information. Finally, conclusions will be drawn, raising questions that may inform any future cultural interventions in Mangaung on the part of the MUCPP .