Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 20: Qualitative approaches for the study of socially innovative initiatives
Social innovation, as it is conceptualized by the contributors to this volume, valorizes the knowledge and cultural assets of communities and prioritizes the creative reconfiguration of social relations (MacCallum et al. 2009, p. 18). In this sense, it is sought not only in bottom-up initiatives linked to particular places, but also at a multiplicity of spatial scales and intersections of institutional and everyday practices. Socially innovative initiatives often develop as a response to growing inequalities and processes of social exclusion, mobilizing resources of various kinds in novel ways. As such, they call for particular methodologies to approach, and learn from, the actors, aims and practices involved. Such methodologies are part of the broad field of qualitative research, which has gained a hard won acceptance in many disciplines since the 1970s.