How interpersonal communication in helping relationships contributes to the empowerment of the poor : the case of Gawad Kalinga

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in Communication (Thesis Option)



First Advisor

Ladrido, Estelle Marie M., Ph.D.


People-in-conversation co-construct reality through the coordination of meanings. This thesis explores how conversations within helping relationships contribute to empowerment among the poor in a poverty alleviation context. Using the Coordinated Management of Meanings (CMM) Theory, the thesis investigated the case study of Gawad Kalinga (GK) by studying four mentoring relationships between a community member and an employee/volunteer. By conducting in-depth interviews and non-participant observation, the study evaluated how the participants' hierarchy of contexts and the helping relationship communicative attitudes of congruence, empathy and acceptance affect the creation of meanings of empowerment and powerlessness among community members. The relationship context, embedded within the more dominant culture contexts of faith and faith-based GK, created meanings of internal empowerment. This hierarchy and the presence of the three helping relationship attitudes significantly contributed to the mentees' good values, brought out their abilities/potentials, and made them feel uplifted, special and valued.


The C6.R456 2017