I have been working with Ilaria Vanni on a new Designing Research Lab. We are approaching research methods teaching by conceptualising research approaches in terms of: deep dive, place-based, textual, and activist/change methodologies.
I made a short video summarising some key points. There are many different ways of doing activist or change-based research, and I don’t try to cover them all. After explaining some key ideas, the video focuses on action research, change laboratories, and practice-based approaches. These were chosen to illustrate different ways of going about research that can deliver change and create new possibilities for change.
You can download the PowerPoint used in the video here. Many of the images and speech bubbles highlight to other useful resources or original sources.
Some of the highlights in terms of framing ideas include these quotations:
“There is no necessary contradiction between active political commitment to resolving a problem, and rigorous scholarly research on that problem.” (Hale 2001)
“Activist research is about using or doing research so that it changes material conditions for people or places. It is different than cultural critique, where texts are written with political conviction, but no concrete changes are made on the ground.” (Hale 2001)
“We are all participating in, and contributing to, the making of history and of our common future, bearing responsibility for the events unfolding today and, therefore, for what is to come tomorrow. The social structures and practices exist before we enter them… yet it is our action (or inaction), including our work of understanding and knowing, that helps maintain them in their status quo or, alternatively, to transform and transcend them” (Stetsenko 2017)
Let me know in the comments below – Are you involved in activist research? What other approaches are you using to deliver concrete change in the world?