collaborative research paper

colist at colist at
Mon Mar 29 08:47:56 CST 2004

[ed:  Ray gave permission to reprint his response to James' paper 
announcement, and my response to him.  Other thoughts on the issue 
of community-higher ed partnership models are welcome.  Immediately 
below is my response to Ray, followed by Ray's response to James.]

> randy.stoecker at wrote:
> Hi Ray,
> Since you addressed the message to me, I didn't know if you
> wanted it to go to the list.  Please let me know.
> As a quick response, CBPR goes by many many names.  There are
> at least a dozen terms floating around out there (including the
> terms that James uses) right now, all referring to more or less
> the same thing as every term gets diluted through use and
> perhaps misuse.  In James' case, in Australia, the terms
> probably most popular are action research (which is more like
> our participatory research than our action research) and
> popular education.  So it may be that his term "collaborative
> community-based research" is the next labeling tactic there.
> That is one of the real problems in the whole area of
> community-academic linkages right now--people keep changing
> terms, making it near impossible to get the collective
> attention the practice really needs.
> > Randy,
> >
> > I find it odd that one can write about community-university
> > collaboratives without mentioning CBPR, community based
> > participatory research (or Participatory Learning and Action
> > or Participatory Learning and Action or Science Shops).  This
> > well known protocol subordinates the academicians research
> > interests to the needs of an oppressed community, so it
> > certainly removes the "irrelevance" of academicians.  It has
> > a history and much support from federal departments,
> > recently, which deserves to be recognized.
> >
> > The Loka Institute and the Southeast Community Research
> > Center come to mind.  Searching for cbpr in Google, however,
> > will yield hundreds of links.
> >
> > Ray

To:             	colist at
Date sent:      	Wed, 24 Mar 2004 10:36:59 -0500
Subject:        	collaborative research paper
Priority:       	normal
Copies to:      	From:           	colist at
Send reply to:  	colist at
	<mailto:colist-request at>
	<mailto:colist-request at>

> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
> This is a COMM-ORG "colist" message.
> All replies to this message come to COMM-ORG only.
> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
> [ed:  the announcement of James' paper is forwarded with
> permission and thanks to him for the kind words.]
> From:           	James Whelan <james.whelan at>
> Hello Randy
> I need to suspend my subscription to Comm-Org until December.
> I'll be leaving the confines of the university to step back out
> into the world of environmental campaigning and feel the need to
> minimise email traffic during this time. Comm-Org is my favourite
> list, though, so I'll look forward to getting back to it.
> Late last year, I wrote and presented a paper on collaborative,
> community-based research. The title was inspired by your 1999
> paper "Are academics irrelevant" - with acknowledgement and link
> to the Comm-Org website (I must be the most active Comm-Org
> ambassadors in this hemisphere). I'd appreciate the abstract
> being sent around the list sometime - with the link to where it's
> available online.
> keep up the excellent networking!
> James
> Are academics  irrelevant? Case studies of collaborative research
> with community-based environmental advocates
> Whelan, J. (2003)  Proceedings, Inside Out Conference ‘Charting
> Uncertainty: Capital, Community and Citizenship’, July 2003,
> Ipswich Online
> Academics are irrelevant, concluded American union organiser Saul
> Alinsky (1969). The higher education sector has been urged to
> demonstrate community relevance by engaging with community
> problem-solving and action for social justice (Boyer, 1990) and
> by acting as ‘significant allies’ of the community advocacy
> sector (Stone, 1997). Despite these urgings, most academics
> remain strangely silent on social and environmental issues.
> Although universities may not overtly discourage speaking out,
> the pressures to publish, teach and keep pace with administrivia
> inevitably mitigate against many academics’ active engagement
> in civil society. More significant obstacles include
> conservatism, careerism, ignorance and the threat of political
> consequence.
> A variety of factors isolate civil society groups and social
> scientists from each other. Academics encounter research-funding
> arrangements that increasingly reflect industry priorities.
> University reward structures offer little if any recognition for
> civil engagement. Activists seeking short-term support from
> universities often experience frustration and disappointment. The
> cultures of the tertiary and community sectors entail different
> values, timeframes and hierarchies.
> Griffith University’s Australian School of Environmental
> Studies has recently established several partnership initiatives
> with the region’s environment movement. In 2003, the School
> sponsored a series of workshops for engaged and experienced
> environmental and social justice advocates. These workshops offer
> personal and professional development in a sector predisposed
> primarily toward action rather than reflection. Newcomers to the
> environment movement rarely receive education or training to
> equip them for the demands of effective advocacy.
> In conjunction with this workshop series, the School has
> introduced a new Environmental Advocacy elective for postgraduate
> students. The course emerged from a three-year collaborative
> action research project (Whelan 2002). Its six-month curriculum
> entails a significant service-learning element during which
> students undertake an internship with an environmental advocacy
> organisation in their region. This first-hand experience helps
> students develop a critical appraisal of particular environmental
> campaigns and foster action learning within the activist
> community.
> This paper discusses the challenges of establishing these
> initiatives within the university environment and presents
> feedback from postgraduate and activist participants in both the
> course and workshops.
> _______________________________________________

More information about the Colist mailing list