Democratizing society and research practice: starting to collaborate in an ethnographic experience with the "Stop Evictions" movement in Spain.
Antonia Olmos Alcaraz
(University of Granada)
Luca Sebastiani (Universidade de Coimbra)
Ariana S. Cota (Universidad de Granada)
Paper short abstract:
This paper is based on our collaborative research with "Stop Evictions" movement in Granada (Spain). We discuss methodological aspects related to the first phase of the research process, and advocate for and anthropology committed to democratizing both knowledge production and society.
Paper long abstract:
This paper is a reflexion about our first steps the fieldwork in a collaborative ethnographic research entitled: "Emergent Processes and Agencies of the Commons: Collaborative Social Research Praxis and New Forms of Political Subjectivation" (CSO2014-56960-P) Collaborative research entails a critique of traditional ethnographic scope and redraws the expectations of the actors involved. Adopting a notion of 'situated knowledges' (Haraway, 1995) our starting point is a committed anthropology aimed to promote a democratization of knowledge production. In this epistemological context, we discuss our experience together with "Stop Evictions-Granada", a collective part of the "Indignad@s" movement for the right to housing. We argue how we have problematized our own ways to make research from different locations of enunciation and lived experiences, to initiate the fieldwork with all implicated actors. The selections of the places, the way to present the research and ourselves, the experimented roles and the intercession of social relations are some of the issues that have been showed centrals and determined our option of research. Additionally, drawing from a notion of "doubly reflexive" (Dietz, 2011) and "collaborative" ethnography (Lassiter, 2005; Rappaport, 2007, 2008; Dietz y Álvarez, 2013), and considering ethnographic actors as "epistemic partners" (Holmes and Marcus, 2008) in the process, we assess the main potentialities and difficulties found during the first year of this experience. Although we consider that collaborative ethnography can contribute to a more horizontal fieldwork relationship, we are conscious that it entails many difficulties and contradictions many difficulties and contradictions many difficulties and contradictions.
The praxis of collaborative ethnography: knowledge production with social movements