This article will analyse the power relations involved in social movement research, exploring
alternative epistemological practices that resist and subvert academic conventions in order to
create new modes of knowing. I will critique the production of a knowledge that aims at
liberation and emancipation by conducting research 'about' or 'on behalf of' social movements,
and I will show how this approach might lead to their very subjection. It will be argued that, in
order to avoid the reproduction of power relations they seek to resist, research practices need to
go beyond dialectical modes of knowing, departing from assumptions of the subject/object of
knowledge, of objective/subjective research and from the hierarchy between theory and praxis.
A precedent is found in the research approaches of post-colonial, activist, and queer studies that
seek to experiment different modes of knowing, based not on observation and participation, but
on learning from the experience of resistance in social movements: in this way resistant practices
become an epistemological perspective rather than an object of study, and research can become
a tool of resistance.
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