Sociology for Changing the World

Social Movements/Social Research

Edited by Caelie Frampton, Gary Kinsman, AK Thompson and Kate Tilleczek  

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This book for activists and researchers on building connections between social movements and social research sets out practical ways activists can map the social relations of struggle they are engaged in and produce knowledge for more effective forms of activism for changing the world. Grounded in political activist ethnography, this work does not see social movements as “objects” to be studied from the outside. Rather they are to be analyzed from the standpoint of insiders’ knowledge and based on the daily struggles the social movements are engaged in. Sociology for Changing the World allows people to learn how to do sociology for social transformation.

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  • Foreword: Social Movements/Social Research: Towards Political Activist Ethnography (C. Frampton et al.)
  • Introduction: George Smith, Political Activist as Ethnographer and Sociology for People (Dorothy E. Smith)
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Part A: Beyond Ideology and Speculation
  • Introduction (C. Frampton et al.)
  • Political Activist as Ethnographer (George W. Smith)
  • Of T-Shirts and Ontologies: Celebrating George Smith’s Pedagogical Legacies (Eric Mykhalovskiy & Kathryn Church)
  • Research for Activism: Understanding Social Organization from Inside It (Marie Campell)
  • Part B: Research as Disruption
  • Introduction (C. Frampton et al.)
  • Direct Action, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (AK Thompson)
  • Researching for Resistance: OCAP, Housing Struggles and Activist Research (John Clarke)
  • Mapping Social Relations of Struggle: Activism, Ethnography, Social Organization (Gary Kinsman)
  • Part C: Blowing Up Social Relations
  • Introduction (C. Beck, G. Kinsman, A. Thompson & K. Tilleczek)
  • Changes of Name and Sex for Transsexuals in Quebec: Understanding the Arbitrary Nature of Institutions (Viviane Namaste)
  • Exploring the Globalized Regime of Ruling from the Standpoint of Immigrant Workers (Roxana Ng)
  • Against Illegality: New Directions in Organizing by and with Non-Status People in Canada (Cynthia Wright)
  • Political Deskilling/Re-Skilling: Flying Squads and the Crisis of Working Class Consciousness/Self-Organization (Clarice Kuhling & Alex Levant)
  • Conclusions
  • Marx’s Method and the Contributions of Institutional Ethnography (William K. Carroll)
  • New Directions for Activist Research (C. Frampton et al.)
  • References


  • Gary Kinsman

    Laurentian University

    Gary Kinsman (born 1955 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian sociologist. He is one of Canada’s leading academics on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. In 1987, he wrote one of the key Canadian texts on LGBT social history, Regulation of Desire, reprinted in 1995. In 2000, he edited and co-authored a second work, on Canadian federal government surveillance of marginal and dissident political and social groups, Whose National Security? A professor of sociology at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Kinsman’s research and publication focuses primarily on the sociological perspectives of LGBT issues. Kinsman is also a social activist on feminist, labor union, social justice and anti-poverty issues. Kinsman was a writer for The Body Politic and a central figure in the publication of the successor magazine Rites. He helped found Gays and Lesbians Against the Right Everywhere and the Lesbian and Gay Pride Day Committee of Toronto. In Sudbury, he was one of the organizer’s of the city’s first-ever Sudbury Pride event in 1997.

  • Kate Tilleczek

    Kate Tilleczek is a former school teacher who is currently Canada Research Chair in Youth Cultures and Transitions at the University of Prince Edward Island. Prior to this appointment, she worked for many years in Sociology at Laurentian University. She is also a Research Scientist with The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and was Senior Researcher with CRaNHR from 2001 to 2003.

    Kate Tilleczek has been engaged in research on the social lives and cultures of children and youth: she is particularly interested in issues of marginality of young people and the ways in which education is related to developmental health. She is currently the Lead Investigator on a three year ethnographic study of elementary and secondary schools, the transitions between them, and the developmental health of young people. Kate has recently collaborated with The Hospital for Sick Children as the lead investigator on a multi-method, large scale study of secondary schools and early school leavers in Ontario. She is also currently engaged in investigations relating to the ethics and practice of research with and for young people. She has also worked with researchers at CRaNHR and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to collaborate with filmmakers to produce a documentary film about children’s mental health.

    Kate is the author of Why do Students Drop Out of High School? Narrative Studies and Social Critiques; she is also co-editor of Sociology for Changing the World: Social Movements/Social Research. Kate is an active member of many academic societies including the International Childhood and Youth Research Network, the Canadian Rural Health Research Society and the International Sociological Association.

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