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Making Knowledge Count

Making Knowledge Count: Advocacy and Social Science

Copyright Date: 1991
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Making Knowledge Count
    Book Description:

    The essays in this collection use case studies to address four vital issues of modern social advocacy. The first is the new social framework which has legitimized advocacy and recognized the immense importance of human rights legislation. The second issue explored is the adoption of various strategies by advocates in empowering social groups to achieve better self-management. A third issue is the link between the process of advocacy and social movements. In the past the sociological study of collective conflict focused on the confrontation between capital and labour, but in recent years social movements have shifted the focus to quality of life or "programmed society" conflicts. Fourth, the essays examine the role of academic social science in the new process of advocacy.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6278-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. Introduction: Making Knowledge Count
    (pp. 3-20)

    Events in Eastern Europe in 1989 demonstrated in a most extraordinary manner the ways in which spontaneous social action can transform the political order of a nation-state. It is still too early to judge whether the street demonstrations constituted a political revolution in some definitive sense of the term, but clearly the lives of millions of people in Eastern Europe became transformed with improbable speed and decisiveness.

    All the circumstances contributing to such dramatic change are not yet known, but some of the key factors are obvious. The courage and foresight of individual dissenters who were willing to risk their...


    • [PART ONE: Introduction]
      (pp. 21-27)

      The case studies in this section relate in some manner to the issue of human rights. In the liberal democracies, human rights issues tend to elicit a grass-roots response in a way that political criticism rarely manages to do. The visibility and ease with which human rights violations can be demonstrated, through television broadcast and videotape replay, and the ease with which the images can be absorbed, are clearly factors promoting the salience of human rights issues.

      Consider United States-Soviet Union relations during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Instances of Soviet violations of human rights were well documented. They were...

    • Human Rights Advocacy in a Repressive Context: Chile, 1973—89
      (pp. 28-53)

      This article examines advocacy in an authoritarian context — the Chilean military dictatorship ushered in with the 1973 coup d’état.¹ More specifically, it focuses on how social scientists responded to a repressive state, and the way in which much of their work came to take on the character ofhuman rights advocacy.

      The main institutional means through which this transformation of social science practice in Chile occurred was a forced and massive transfer of academics out of the formal university system, and the creation of a large number of independent (private) social science research centres.² These constituted what became known as...

    • The Policy Maker and the Advocate: Case Studies in Refugee Policy
      (pp. 54-73)

      “Human rights” emerged from the “nationalities question” in the nineteenth century with the introduction of the anti-genocide, antiracist, and civil and political rights conventions. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the United Nations on 19 December 1948. A number of conventions implemented this Declaration. They are the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and others prohibiting slavery and protecting indigenous and tribal populations. Human rights are definedwithinthe authority of the state...

    • Advocacy and Race Relations
      (pp. 74-92)

      The underlying premise to advocacy activities in the field of race relations is that racism in any form is not to be tolerated. The fundamental rights and freedoms that Canada holds to as a liberal democracy include the commitment to full and equal participation of all citizens in the cultural, social, economic, and political life of the country. The ideal that the circle of Canadian life should embrace all Canadians equally includes the principles of equality of access, equality of opportunity, and the equality of all cultures.

      These principles have been encoded in multicultural policies of both federal and provincial...


    • [PART TWO: Introduction]
      (pp. 93-99)

      The following case studies present an identifiable process of advocacy and empowerment whose circularities of dialogue, learning, analysis and evaluation follow this scheme:¹

      1Understanding:preliminary presentation of alternative construction of social reality ... Opening of dialogue.

      2Investigation of themes:alienation, powerlessness, dependence, confusion, anxiety ... unconscious assumptions in favour of the dominant ideology.

      3Action:informed participation, inter-organization negotiation or advocacy, collective struggle.

      4Learning:Grasping the meaning of conflict, understanding the need for strategic engagement, learning from each other.

      5Evaluation:observing consequences of action, developing selfconcept as participant and advocate.

      The focus of Heyworth’s study of...

    • “Town”/“Gown” and Community Relations: Case Studies of Social Empowerment
      (pp. 100-118)

      Relationships between “town and gown” have been the subject of debate for many centuries. The forms they have taken vary with time, place, and the particular university or community. Today, in North America, community projects and activities initiated by universities are paraded on every campus. Nevertheless, their underlying rationale is less clear. The major preoccupation for the university continues to be with effects of the economic crisis, while doubts and perplexities are expressed in a general groping after social legitimacy of community projects.

      In all this uncertainty, the concept of advocacy serves only to complicate matters. For if an advocate...

    • Developing a Labour Point of View: Advocacy and the Labour Movement
      (pp. 119-135)

      A quick perusal of the literature in work and industry, industrial relations, and labour studies readily confirms that the current trend is towards some form of Quality of Working Life (Cunningham and White 1984; Nightingale 1982) coupled with an appeal for all parties involved - employer, employee, and government - to change radically their attitudes towards collective bargaining. Employers have to become more willing to accept union contributions; employees have to become more cooperative and “confine adversarial tactics”; and the government has to adopt “a more positive attitude toward employers and unions” in order to facilitate trust and harmony between...

    • Critical Pedagogy and Education for Work
      (pp. 136-152)

      Educators who take account of theories of reproduction and resistance have criticized both the form and content of a wide variety of curriculum materials on the grounds (a) that they serve to legitimize and reproduce dominant ideologies (Anyon 1979; Osbourne 1980; Taxel 1979), and (b), that they do not lend themselves to methods of inquiry which encourage either dialogue or debate (Giroux 1982).

      As I shall demonstrate, conventional approaches to career education based on “talent-matching” provide yet another example of a politically inappropriate and pedagogically inadequate curricular form. For those of us concerned with the provision of a more critical...


    • [PART THREE Introduction]
      (pp. 153-158)

      A social movement is primarily an agency of contestation. The features which distinguish it from lobbying or small-scale empowerment/advocacy have to do with the social movement’s desire to overturn thesocial dominationof the group or class to which it is opposed. A social movement not only seeks to change society but, in addition, seeks to control how that change is implemented. The sources of protest in social movements are deep and they bring structural conflict to the fore. Even if a social movement appears to be muddleheaded in its diverse array of members and forms of dissent, structural conflict...

    • Day Care, Trade Unions, and the Women’s Movement: Trade Union Women Organize for Change
      (pp. 159-181)

      This case study of union women organizing for day care in Ontario analyses the emergence of a women’s movement within labour. It provides a social history of women’s organizing efforts in the Ontario labour movement, tracing political mobilization of support for universally accessible, publicly funded child care. In addition, day care sheds light on recent developments in two Canadian social movements: the labour movement and the women’s movement.¹ Developments in each of these areas have facilitated gains made by both. The active campaign of trade union women for women’s equality in the unions has been integrally connected to the contemporary...

    • Why Is the Feminist Movement Still Politically Marginal?
      (pp. 182-202)

      In the 1960s, there was a revival of the feminist movement around the world, particularly in industrialized countries like Canada. This revival or “second wave” was driven by tangible social contradictions: conflicting pressures on most women to be simultaneously independent and dependent, both equal and subordinate to men. Women felt these contradictory pressures in family and work roles, as well as in conflicts between family and work.

      The feminist movement has succeeded in changing the way women look at themselves and their place in the social world, especially on a cultural and interpersonal level. The new consciousness among women and...


    • [PART FOUR Introduction]
      (pp. 203-208)

      The validity of conventional social research relies to a large extent on its correct correspondence with scientific method. The first step in this method is to make all descriptive data as self-evident as possible. A second step is to match the data to some model of events, or to some larger theoretical scheme. In quantitative terms the model will be validated by conventions of mathematical probability. In qualitative terms it will be validated by the terms and propositions of a theoretical argument.

      Though social research uses both quantitative and qualitative models, its claim to status as science rests on its...

    • Advocating Peace
      (pp. 209-222)

      As civilized human beings, we are the inheritors ... of a conversation, begun in the primeval forests and extended and made more articulate in the course of centuries. It is a conversation which goes on both in public and within each of ourselves ... Education, properly speaking, is an initiation into the skill and partnership of this conversation in which we ... acquire the intellectual and moral habits appropriate to conversation ... [T]he final measure of intellectual achievement is in terms of its contribution to the conversation in which all universes of discourse meet. (Oakeshott 1962, 199)

      Society is most...

    • Advocacy as a Form of Social Science
      (pp. 223-231)

      In this paper i wish to address some of the issues underlying these questions, and argue that advocacy can be made as scientific as any other form of research, and has a rightful place among social science methodologies of the present day. I take my point of departure from an argument developed at greater length inBeyond Method(Morgan 1983): that research is basically a process of conversing with the object or phenomenon being researched, and that in research, as in conversation, we ultimately meet ourselves, a point also put by spencer above.

      This view of the research process stands...

    • Policy Research, Advocacy, and Human Rights in Canada
      (pp. 232-244)

      The concern of social scientists in Canada with human rights, and with advocacy stemming from human rights legislation, is the latest step in a long history of research oriented towards social policy. During relatively stable times social scientists tend to work at improving methods and building better theories, but when crises arise many specialists deal with them directly and specifically. The erosion of human rights during and after the Second World War drew social scientists into the advocacy of changes in government policies and legislation to win for powerless people the protection of law and approved practice.

      The blending of...

  9. Index
    (pp. 245-250)
  10. Contributors
    (pp. 251-251)