The International Handbook on Social Innovation Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
- Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 35: Framing social innovation research: a sociology of knowledge perspective
If social innovation (SI) is about transformation of institutions, overthrowing oppressive ‘structures with power’, collective agency to address non-satisfied needs, building of empowering social relations from the bottom-up, one can indeed wonder what leads scientists, who often have a strong theoretical interest and occasionally suffer from forum phobia, to social innovation analysis and social innovation practice, as advisors, theorists, activists, technicians, etc.? Is it that social innovation scientists are aware that through their work of knowledge production they – consciously or unconsciously – defend or reinforce particular positions and interests in society? They seemingly make the choice to acknowledge the inherent positionality of (scientific) knowledge and make explicit their intention of knowledge production in the interest of marginalized or disempowered voices and with the purpose of social transformation. SI research is indeed about ‘changing the world’ through study, cooperation and shared intervention or collective action, often in a form of action research.
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