research community organizing and political change n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Research, Community Organizing and Political Change PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Research, Community Organizing and Political Change

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 40

Research, Community Organizing and Political Change - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Research, Community Organizing and Political Change. Anne Shlay Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy and Department of Geography, Hebrew University Professor, Department of Sociology Temple University . Outline. Research, objectivity and interests

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Research, Community Organizing and Political Change' - andreas

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
research community organizing and political change

Research, Community Organizing and Political Change

Anne Shlay

Visiting Professor, School of Public Policy and Department of Geography, Hebrew University

Professor, Department of Sociology Temple University

  • Research, objectivity and interests
  • Research, advocacy and bias
  • Applied research
  • University-Community Collaborations
  • Collaborative community research and advocacy
  • Community reinvestment movement and collaborative research
  • EPOP and genesis of Research for Democracy
  • Blight Free Philadelphia
  • Any examples from Jerusalem?
research objectivity and interests
Research, objectivity and interests
  • Research training process in core social sciences
  • Disinterested and objective
  • Scientific indifference to research outcomes
  • Arms length methods and replicability
  • Legitimacy of findings linked to objectivity of method
  • Research topics: come from literature.
  • Emerge from field. Topic rooted in literature.
  • Focus on objectivity of research, not on whether there are vital interests in research
  • New idea: Habermas: Knowledge and Human Interests. Questions reveal interests
  • Questions per se represent political value system
what is research for
What is research for?
  • For the benefit of science.
  • Expand literature
  • Promote field
  • Research can provide external benefits
  • But societal benefits secondary.
  • Importance of retaining objectivity of research and to remove any form of bias
  • Appearance of slanting research methods and findings one way or the other
  • Connecting research to advocacy organizations or groups with “interests” leads to charges of bias
  • Discredits the research
  • Discredits the organizing and organizer
what s the problem
What’s the problem?
  • Need mechanism to conduct “useful” research without risking charge of bias
  • Information is power
  • Information provides legitimation and credibility
  • Information gives status to organizers
  • Information informs and supports policy options
premise continued
Premise continued
  • Organizations need information for:
    • Developing policy alternatives
    • Supporting advocacy positions
    • Developing and strengthening organizational capacity and leadership
applied research
Applied Research
  • Applied research: research with a client
  • Typically research where client hires researcher to answer particular questions
  • Client could be government, private corporations, non-governmental organizations, or foundations
  • Can go to universities or private research organizations or to consultants.
applied research process
Applied research process
  • Typically same as basic research process
  • Arms length methods
  • Elimination of bias
  • Distance between client and researcher
  • Lack of “interestedness” of researcher in research findings.
applied research very useful
Applied research: very useful
  • Aids development of policy
  • Supports government initiatives
  • Gives valuable information to different organizations
  • Way of providing legitimate unbiased information to organizations who then use the information.
  • Less concerned with development of fields per se
applied research1
Applied research
  • Not geared towards advocacy
  • Not gears towards community empowerment
  • Can lead to advocacy around political issues and can empower different groups.
  • But these outcomes are not intended. Would be useful but unintended outcome of the research process
university community collaborations
University-Community Collaborations
  • Innovation in 1990s in U.S.
  • Idea that universities should be more involved in issues with local communities.
  • Universities repositories of skills, information and energy.
  • Should be applied too solving community based problems
university community collaborations continued
University-Community Collaborations continued
  • U.S. government funded collaborative initiatives.
  • But typically more “service” oriented, not research oriented. Providing counseling, tree planting, small business training, etc.
  • Not necessarily collaborative.
  • University received funding. Money not necessarily shared with community
  • Ultimately, university “doing” for community. Continuation of patronizing relationship of university with external groups.
collaborative community research and advocacy
Collaborative Community Research and Advocacy
  • Relative new model for research
  • Research not done for community organization but with community organizations
  • Research questions and research design formulated in concert with community organizations
  • Research does not ask questions. Questions emerge from the organizing context.
  • Research not necessary done by community organizations.
  • Issues of bias and objectivity remain very present
  • Even more important to provide highly credentialed and methodologically rigorous research.
  • Major different: research done in ongoing collaboration with community organization.
  • Community organization shapes the research questions. Research works with, not for, community organization.
  • Lots of tensions and issues: explore later
initial foray community reinvestment movement
Initial foray: Community Reinvestment Movement
  • Movement in U.S. to get banks and other lenders to make housing loans in low income, minority and central city communities.
  • Research effort: used data to demonstrate that lenders failing to do business with local communities.
  • Research documented business activity bordering on illegal and unethical.
  • Research evidence combined with community organizing used to have lender commit to putting more money in local communities
caveats and pitfalls
Caveats and Pitfalls
  • Research must meet the standards of science
  • If politically powerful, research scrutinized.
  • To be credible, research and researcher must be credible.
  • Defensibility of research paramount
  • Use very high standards for successful collaborative research
epop and genesis of research for democracy
EPOP and Genesis of Research for Democracy
  • Newly formed community based organization: Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Coalition
  • Coalition modeled around “faith-based” organizing.
  • Faith based organizing uses already existing institutional structures to mobilize constituencies around political issues..
different models of faith based organizing
Different models of faith-based organizing
  • In U.S., different national networks of faith based organizations with different strategies and organizations.
  • EPOP: focuses on relationships between people and organizations and leadership development.
  • EPOP: organization geared towards building leadership.
epop and research
EPOP and research
  • EPOP organizing: veterans of the community reinvestment era.
  • Knew about the power of research tied to organizing.
  • Heard about me and approached me.
  • Helped EPOP on a variety of projects.
  • Did not “do” the projects. Gave advice, reviews research instruments, and critiqued methods.
epop and academics
EPOP and Academics
  • As part of my volunteer work with EPOP, allowed my credentials to be used by EPOP.
  • EPOP used my name on reports and documents.
  • EPOP had me come to press conferences and meet with leaders.
  • Consequence: I built relationships with EPOP leaders and staff and they built relationships with me.
trust and communication
Trust and communication
  • Research requires research skills.
  • Collaborative community research requires building of trust and ongoing communication.
  • Lots of areas for tension and problems.
key area of tension for researcher
Key area of tension for researcher
  • Undermining credibility of research and researcher.
  • E.g., community organizations makes statements that are “not true,” that is, not consistent with research.
  • Tension: researchers used to making tentative conclusions. Organizers used to making bold pronouncements.
key area of tension for community organization
Key area of tension for community organization
  • Accessibility of research
  • Ownership of research
  • Timing of research
research for democracy
Research for Democracy
  • Based on multiple successes in collaboration, decided to embark on new organization structure: “Research for Democracy.”
  • Received support from local foundation
  • Hired staff with research skills and connections to community organizations.
  • All research methodological issues reviewed by me.
  • Research for Democracy Director: worked both for the EPOP and the university.
  • Money received from foundation went to EPOP and the university.
blight free philadelphia the problem
Blight Free Philadelphia: The Problem
  • Philadelphia: old (by U.S. standards) northeastern city.
  • Home of major industry and manufacturing.
  • Deindustrialization moved industry out of Philadelphia.
  • Population loss
  • Suburbanization
philadelphia housing stock
Philadelphia Housing Stock
  • Very old housing stock
  • 42% built before 1940
  • Only 1.5% built between 1990 and 2000.
  • Estimates of abandonment converged around 30,000 units.
population decline philadelphia city 1990 2005
Population decline, Philadelphia City 1990-2005

2005 2000 1990

Population 1,463,281 1,517,550 1,585,577

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 Population Estimates, Census 2000, 1990 Census

prognosis diagnosis and treatment
Prognosis, Diagnosis and Treatment
  • With continuing population decline, problem will only get worse.
  • New Mayor: makes blight policy issue
  • Proposes blight plan based on demolishing abandoned housing units and assembling large parcels for development.
epop leaders
EPOP Leaders
  • Conceived blight as more wide spread.
  • Incipient abandonment in their neighborhoods
  • Saw blight as plague on their neighborhoods. Wanted to solve problems of incipient blight, not just concentrated blight.
issue reconstruct the blight problem
Issue: Reconstruct the blight problem
  • Research: tool for shaping new political and policy perspective on the definition of the blight problem.
the research distribution of abandonment
The Research: Distribution of Abandonment
  • Developed analysis of the location of abandoned housing.
  • Used maps and graphs
  • Showed distribution of blight in council districts.
  • Found that two conditions of blight:
    • Concentrated blight
    • Dispersed blight
    • Blight widespread
research causes of blight
Research: Causes of Blight
  • Used multivariate techniques to look at the impact of various characteristics on the distribution of blight among neighborhoods.
  • Question: why is the number of abandoned housing high in some neighborhoods than others.
  • Findings emphasized the absence of local policy efforts in combating blight. City policy complicit in expanding blight. Need a policy solution to blight expansion
research impact of blight
Research: Impact of Blight
  • Used multivariate techniques to assess the impact on the number of abandoned home on property values (the selling price of homes)
  • Found that small number of abandoned homes (incipient blight) had large negative effects on housing values.
  • Problem not just concentrated blight but wide spread incipient blight.
  • Blight problem: city wide, not neighborhood specific problem
  • EPOP held hearings with local council people.
  • Lobbied extensively with President of City Council responsible for initiating blight legislation.
  • Succeeded in holding up the legislation
  • Ultimately, legislation based containing more money for neighborhood improvements and stabilization, not just demolition
small but important victory
Small but important victory
  • Illustrates the combined role of research and organizing in shaping policy
  • Research and universities tools for community empowerment under the right conditions and with the right people.
any jerusalem examples
Any Jerusalem examples
  • Where could research help organizing
  • What are major development issues that community are organizing around?
  • Is research something that could be used in advocacy planning in Israel?