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ERIC Number: ED457206
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Solidarity Work: Researchers in the Struggle for Social Justice.
Mishler, Elliot G.; Steinitz, Vicky
The role of researchers in the struggle for social justice was explored, focusing on some of the dilemmas faced by researchers doing solidarity work. Solidarity work is negotiating ways to combine different interests to make research findings useful and relevant to political aims. People doing solidarity work describe themselves as activity scholars or researchers, and advocacy is the most common form of solidarity work. Two examples of solidarity work in the context of welfare reform are described in which the aim was to undermine stereotypes of poor women on welfare and to document false and misleading claims in government and media reports about the positive effects of proposed welfare laws and regulations. Another example was a human rights welfare monitoring project to evaluate the effects of the new welfare policies passed in Massachusetts. This project illustrated the difficulties in empowering welfare recipients and in mobilizing low-income people. Another example is an international study of the effects on women of war-related violence that shows the possibilities of combining forms of partnership with advocacy. The work of the Fourth World Movement was not conceived of primarily as research and was not carried out by academic researchers, but the Movement provides an example for the academic world of the use of documentation and best practices case studies. A study of the conceptualization of AIDS in Haiti and the United States shows how research that fuses advocacy and partnership can change social attitudes. By reviewing a variety of approaches to solidarity work, this paper encourages researchers to look for opportunities that fit their academic interests and skills and their political perspectives. (Contains 15 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A