On Militancy, Self-reflection, and the Role of the Researcher
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Online
Date Written: 20/09/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23062
Researcher Jared Sacks examines and questions methodologies of social movement researchers through a self-reflective investigation into his own experience and work.
This paper began in response to Ibrahim Steyn's work on Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape, (AbM-WC) - a Cape Town-based social movement I was involved with for a few years. An initial desire for clarity evolved into a self-reflective investigation into my own work with the movement's base community, QQ-Section. Throughout the paper, I problematise certain contradictions in my involvement thereby taking Steyn's work and the call for critical research seriously. This led me to re-evaluate my praxis, giving me the opportunity to question methodologies of social movement researchers. To account for the problematic role the investigator plays, I propose alternative militant, thorough, and self-critical ways of conducting research.