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(Almost) Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Activist Research but Were Afraid to Ask

What Activist Researchers Say about Theory and Methodology

Aziz Choudry

Keywords: activist research; knowledge prediction; methodology; social movements; theory

This article seeks to explore the work of activist researchers located in social movements, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and people’s organisations with close relations to contemporary progressive grassroots struggles in a number of countries, mainly in the global South. Drawing from extensive interviews with these researchers on their processes and practice of research and knowledge production, located outside of academic institutions and partnerships, it documents their understandings about the theoretical frameworks and methodologies they employ. This article thus foregrounds articulations of actual research practices from the perspectives of activist researchers themselves. In doing so, it suggests that social movement scholars can learn more about the intellectual work within movements, including the relations between theoretical and methodological approaches and action, from a deeper engagement with the work of activist researchers outside of academia.

Affiliations

Choudry, Aziz - McGill University