thecompassedge.net is a web project maintained by Brian Jones to log his and others' experiences while traveling to and working in regions off the standard travel map.
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Posted by Brian Jones
22 December 2003 –
Proportional piling is a technique used to get people to express the different importance of issues, events and things to a particular community. Here we are using beans to represent the total number of people in the community (100 beans in total) and the participants, who are all from the poorest income group called mangkwa are arranging the beans to indicate the rough proportions of people in the four income strata in Bolosso Sorie.
The arrangement of the beans usually involves lengthy and often heated debate and is an incredibly useful tool for answering specific questions of amount, whilst also allowing you to delve deep into the ways in which people conceptualise the world around them. In other words is the arguments around the basic question that reveal more about the situation than the 'answer' itself.
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