Knowledge Fair Trade

  • Marcela Polanco
Part of the AFTA SpringerBriefs in Family Therapy book series (BRIEFSFAT)


In this chapter I focus on the implications of the internationalization of knowledge produced in prosperous countries, crossing over cultural borders under complex social, historical, political, economic and linguistic circumstances. My purpose is to problematize the global expansion of family therapy training within a neoliberal context, specifically that of narrative therapy, into my Colombian culture. Through my accounts here of training in narrative and family therapy, I locate the current globalization of professional knowledge within a contemporary agenda of colonization. Faithfully at first, I consumed this professional knowledge with no question; later I engaged a critical perspective that allowed me to better discern the cultural differences between the knowledges—an imperative step to engage in an exchange of knowledge while maintaining cultural integrity. I propose here a multi-lateral fair trade agreement of knowledge, embedded in a decolonial project of training and practicing. A fair trade of knowledge facilitates the unfolding of hybrid, transformative inter-cultural alternatives. It recognizes that all cultures are legitimate contributors when drawing from their idiosyncratic local life-support systems, languages, meanings and histories.


Narrative therapy Decolonial project Fair trade Knowledge Neoliberalism and family therapy Social movements Hybrid alternatives Cultural integrity 


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Copyright information

© American Family Therapy Academy 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcela Polanco
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentOur Lady of the Lake UniversitySan AntonioUSA

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