collaborative research paper

colist at comm-org.utoledo.edu colist at comm-org.utoledo.edu
Tue Mar 30 07:54:17 CST 2004


[ed:  David continues the discussion.]

From: "David Chavis" <dchavis at capablecommunity.com>

I'll offer a variant of on this theme: Are academics especially needed?
Quality collaborative, participatory, and still scientifically rigorous
research and related assistance can be more easily conducted outside of
academe. Government and foundation greatly rely on these research
organizations and individual consultants e.. The Applied Research Center;
Rainbow Research, Institute for Community Research, our organization, and
many others. We can do the research in a collaborative manner, provide
credibility, and not have to stress over the conflicting demands of the
university (i.e. is it scientific?, getting=

respect from peers, high overhead, can they get a publication in a peer
reviewed journal, etc). These tensions burn out the well intended
academic, or in order to cope, make collaborative, participatory, and
empowering evaluations a romanticized hobby that they can dabble in
periodically. More and more academics are leaving successful careers
because we can do more and better collaborative community based research
in independent and intermediary organizations (with a lot less hassles).

The really relevant university-community collaboration lies with the true
power of universities in the US: money and clout. Universities easily undo
the social good of the handful of their community research collaborations
by their land use, employment, and social policy activities. 

David

*********************
David M. Chavis
Association for the Study and Development of Community
312 South Frederick Ave.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
301-519-0722 ext. 109 (voice)
301-519-0724 (fax)
www.capablecommunity.com
> 
> > randy.stoecker at utoledo.edu 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 coserver.uhw.utoledo.edu
> Date sent:      	Wed, 24 Mar 2004 10:36:59 -0500
> Subject:        	collaborative research paper
> Priority:       	normal
> Copies to:      	From:           	colist at coserver.uhw.utoledo.edu
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>  <mailto:colist-request at comm-org.utoledo.edu?subject=subscribe>
> 
> > <><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
> > 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 griffith.edu.au>
> > 
> > 
> > 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
> > http://www.uq.edu.au/insideout/proceed.htm#w
> > 
> > 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.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> 
> 
> 
> 
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