Social Movements

"Social movement research is often thought to have an interest in effecting social change –often in solidarity with those movements themselves. However engagement and activism in research take on multiple forms, not necessarily all identical or even compatible with each other, or with the movements. For some people such scholarship requires direct participation in social organizing with social movements; for others it means engaging in knowledge-production aimed at more epistemological or theoretical levels. At play are presumptions about both what constitutes “activism” or movements on the one hand, and “knowledge” on the other. This symposium will try to make sense of different versions of politically engaged scholarship, asking a series of questions: What does, can and should politically engaged social scientific work involve? What constitutes ‘activism’? What do research practices that are committed to rigorous research and critical knowledge production look like at various stages of the research process? What kinds of interventions (collective, institutional or otherwise) do or could engaged research practices entail?"

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