Foregrounding the Voice of Prospective Host Community Stakeholders in International Service Learning

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
While there is a growing body of research within the area of International Service Learning (ISL), research is skewed towards an interest in Western concerns and representation. Service learning that involves stakeholders from host countries in the global South is often predicated on relationships between stakeholders that are inherently inequitable. While there is ample research on ISL, most has been concerned with the stakeholders from the global North, with little critical insight coming from the host communities. This lack of community voice only serves to uphold a cultural hegemony, negating claims by proponents of service learning of mutual benefit and reciprocity. Therefore, this collective case study sought out the perspectives of six community leaders in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to determine how they might envision a meaningful ISL initiative. The research participants’ concerns with the unequal distribution of wealth, the moral condescension exhibited by foreigners, and the lack of community voice within the global arena, made embracing ISL ventures a tenuous proposition. Evident from the findings was a Western hegemonic ethnocentrism that impacted how the participants perceived service, reciprocity, and partnership within ISL.
International Service Learning, Postcolonial theory, Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Host Community, Global Citizenship Education, Partnership, Reciprocity
George, M. A. (2019). Foregrounding the voice of prospective host community stakeholders in international service learning (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from