[COMM-ORG] query: source of "felt needs"

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Fri Sep 3 03:14:04 CDT 2010

  "Alyosha Goldstein" <agoldste at unm.edu>

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to get an idea of sources for the term "felt needs" in 
community development literature.  The term is pervasive in CD lit after 
WWII, but while folks like T.R. Batten or Arthur Dunham, or pretty much 
everyone writing about India's community development program, provide 
various definitions, they seem to consider using the term self-evident 
enough not to require further citation. "Felt needs" regularly appears 
in Progressive Era community organization literature (likewise without 
citation).  Eduard Lindeman discusses "needs" but, not (to the best of 
my knowledge) "felt needs" per se.

In any case, my best guess is that the term is taken from mid-19th 
Christian theological literature, but I haven't had much luck tracking 
down specific sources or discussions of the term's origins.

I would be grateful for any and all ideas comm-org readers might have.

Many thanks,



Alyosha Goldstein
Assistant Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
American Studies Department
University of New Mexico
Ortega Hall 311, MSC 03 2110
Albuquerque, NM 87131
Tel. 505.277.3929
Fax. 505.277.1208

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