Archive for October, 2009

Welcome to co-research!

Coresearch is a blog created by staff of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of East London and open to all who want to contribute and participate. The school is very large and multidisciplinary, with about 150 members with a wide range of research interests.  The range of subjects and research areas investigated  can be found from the school page here. Among the Social Sciences in the school,  interests cover subjects areas such as anthropology, political economy, social psychology, sociology, social policy, psychosocial studies, politics, innovation studies and international development. It goes without saying that such a large range of approaches call for a correspondent range of research practices,  methods, research questions and problematics.

The editors of this blog believe that in spite of the great diversity, there lie a  key common denominator among many members of staff in the school: most of the social scientists who have ended up at HSS would like to live in a different world, with fairer access to socially produced resources,  with less discrimination and power hierarchies, with more social, economic, and environmental justice, with better sensitivities to people real stories, and more empowerment from below. For this reason, we tend to see our research as contributing, even if in very small bits, to social change. But how and how do we know?  The role of this blog is to create an arena in which we become aware of the many ways to do this, to facilitate constructive engagement with different research practices and communities, to construct meanings of “knowledge exchange” beyond commodity-exchange and that explore  practices of solidarity and co-production across communities. In a word, the effort here is to create a context in which we learn from one another and find a way to turn the many fragmented worlds of  our research into a common research, a co-research, a research in common, among ourselves and those with whom we share our research practices through all sorts of professional or ordinary engagements.  None of us can predict what will emerge from this experiment attempting to build bridges, redefine boundaries, and open spaces, and yet, respect diversity and plurality. However, one thing is certain: there is no world-changing research without some form of co-research.

We encourage researchers to post texts, videos, words and notes  accounting for their enthusiasms and frustrations, their big and small questions, whether these are the ones they can safely write in research proposals, or those meta-questions that drive our curiosity and keep us awake at night. Questions and quests, successes and failures, experiments and routines, all problematised in the spirit of the value of our experience as agents of social change.

Categories: Uncategorized