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About my research

The final version of my PhD thesis can be found HERE.

An early document outlining my research and my methodology can be found HERE (I am not anymore working on the two case studies mentioned in this document).

A small presentation on my project can be found online HERE.

I am interested in urban crisis and urban social movement, using a Social Ecology perspective.

My methodology can be described as Participator Observation and/or Participatory Action Research approach mixed with militant research approach.

Very often researchers “steal” data from social movements, without any political consideration and without any return for the groups analysed.

Researches of social movements are often seen as a quick and viable ways in academia to build a respectful career. However, there is a deep separation that grows between social movements and researchers, precisely because of the behaviour of the latter. Social movements are increasingly disillusioned and suspicious of the world of the University. The University could have a high potential to help the movements to grow and develop, thanks to the resources, knowledge and infrastructures, but this does not happen.

I deeply believe that key concept is solidarity: all the research on social movements has to be in solidarity with the group they are working with. The starting point are these quotations:

“If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” (Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s)

What is needed is a deep understanding and comprehension of the challenges that the researched are facing. Thus the researcher is able to not simply observe from the ivory tower of the academias but she/he becomes involved in the frontline (not simply researching), as an activist of social movements.

Furthermore, I think that this is the time to challenge the idea that the object of the research is merely collecting data for a publication in an academic journal: research is about building knowledge from and for the movement, it is about creating material that actively promoting social change.

Participatory observation is a first methodological step in this direction: be accepted by the social movement, work closely with them in the daily life of the activism. Participatory action researcher is a further step: not only observation but developing the research (both content and methodology) with social movements.