Community Based Research Origins and Principles of Community-Based Research
Rationale for CBR • Academic-community disconnect • Overly narrowly defined research by academia • Perceived need for students to develop civic capacity and democratic citizenship
Questions… • What is the real purpose of higher education? • Are we neglecting practical pursuits in our quest for “new” knowledge? • What is knowledge, actually?
Community Based Research (CBR) • Can have a local, regional, national or global focus • Goal of social and economic justice for all • What does this mean to you? • What implications does this have for your university education?
Early Templates for CBR • Popular education model • Early examples: Hull House, Highlander Folk School, Freire’s community controlled social change (Brazil) • Action research • Lewin’s action research in the workplace • Whyte’s participatory action research • Participatory research
Praxis • From the Greek praxis (refers to work performed by free men) • Aristotle: three types of activity and related knowledge in life: • theoria (the theoretical pursuit of truth) • poiesis (with the goal of making things and production) • praxis (with the end goal of action)
Karl Marx and Praxis • In Communist Manifesto, noted need for working class (proletariat) to overcome false consciousness • to develop class consciousness and move from being “class-in-itself” to become “class-for-itself” • Achieved through praxis = knowledge and research should inform one’s action (Thesis on Feuerbach)
CBR Principles • Research should: • 1. be a collaborative enterprise • 2. validate multiple sources of knowledge and employ mixed methods • 3. have the goals of social action and social change in order to achieve social justice • NOTE: Examine “Exhibit 1.1”
Food for Thought…. • “The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory but is a practical question. Man must prove the truth, ie the reality and power, the this-sidedness [Diesseitigkeit] of his thinking, in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking which is isolated from practice is a purely scholastic question.” (Marx, 1845, Theses on Feuerbach)
More Food… • The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing, and that, therefore, changed men are products of changed circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that it is men who change circumstances and that the educator must himself be educated. Hence this doctrine is bound to divide society into two parts, one of which is superior to society. The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity or self-change [Selbstveränderung] can be conceived and rationally understood only as revolutionary practice.” ((Marx, 1845, Theses on Feuerbach)
Question… • What are the implications of the above quotes by Karl Marx for the work we are doing here?