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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

Kenya: Urbanization, Health, and Human Rights


This study aims to explore the value of cross-cultural relationship-building and international friendship in development. By connecting two groups of Americans each with a group of low-income Kenyans over Skype and by presenting the written expression of Kenyans’ hopes and struggles to a third American group, the research analyzes whether face-to-face interaction and personal information sharing affects one’s perception of people’s needs. Though due to small sample sizes the results are generally inconclusive, qualitatively, the data suggest that relationship-building is a useful tool for development, defined as the improvement of a population’s fundamental welfare. Moreover, the study finds that deliberate cross-cultural interaction can be a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking exercise for those who engage in it.


Civic and Community Engagement | Communication Technology and New Media | Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Intercultural Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication | Social Psychology and Interaction



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