The rise of Far Right populism poses major challenges for communities, exacerbating divisions, hate speech and hate crime. This book shows how communities and social justice movements can effectively tackle these issues, working together to mitigate their underlying causes and more immediate manifestations.
Showing that community-based learning is integral to the development of strategies to promote more hopeful rather than more hateful futures, Mayo demonstrates how, through popular education and participatory action research, communities can develop their own understandings of their problems. Using case studies that illustrate education approaches in practice, she shows how communities can engineer democratic forms of social change.
Issues of displacement and dispossession have become defining characteristics of a globalised 21st century. People are moving within and across national borders, whether displaced, relocated or moving in search of better livelihoods.
This book brings theoretical understandings of migration and displacement together with empirical illustrations of the creative, cultural ways in which communities reflect upon their experiences of change, and how they respond, including through poetry and story-telling, photography and other art forms, exploring the scope for building communities of solidarity and social justice.
The concluding chapters identify potential implications for policy and professional practice to promote communities of solidarity, addressing the structural causes of widening inequalities, taking account of different interests, including those related to social class, gender, ethnicity, age, ability and faith.
This chapter starts by exploring the growth of Far-Right populism, accompanied by increasing racism, ‘Islamophobia, hate speech and hate crime. What is Far Right populism really about? What are its theoretical roots? And how does Far Right populism impact upon communities, in practice? The Far Right has been providing socially divisive explanations for contemporary problems, exacerbating people’s fears and resentments in challenging times. Popular education and participatory action research have valuable contributions to make, in response, working with communities and social movements to unpack the underlying causes of their problems. working towards more hopeful futures - as part of wider strategies for social justice at local, national and international levels. Subsequent chapters are introduced, in summary, in the final section of this chapter.
Competing definitions of the concept of popular education are summarised, showing how the concept has been developed from different perspectives – and then applied in varying ways, in practice. This sets the context for the discussion of popular education as the basis for developing critical consciousness and social transformation. The chapter goes on to summarise the legacies of previous critical educationalists in USA and elsewhere, including the contributions of British experiences and approaches. These legacies have contributed to the thinking of the legendary Brazilian Paulo Freire and others, in the contemporary context. The final section explores the roots of participatory action research, as these have been developed in India, Latin America and elsewhere, in international development contexts.
Governments have supported popular education initiatives in the past. And so have community organisations and social movements. But the spaces for popular education have been shrinking in recent times, as part of the impact of neo-liberal globalisation. Public services have been increasingly subjected to pressures from market forces, pressures that have impacted on community-based education and lifelong learning. Despite these wider pressures, educators have continued to find spaces and places for popular education and participatory action research, however, working across sectors in a variety of contexts. The chapter includes examples of innovatory approaches in both formal settings and informal settings (such as libraries and community centres) including examples from both Northern and Southern American contexts.
This chapter focuses on varying approaches to the values, principles and practices of learning for active citizenship and social change. Government projects in UK have included active learning to promote active citizenship, such as the Take Part programmes, for example. These programmes built on the values, principles and approaches of civil society initiatives, including the experiences of the Workers Educational Association. The chapter concludes with examples of the application of values and principles via the arts, both in Britain and internationally.
Communities are diverse with their own specific histories and cultures. And so are social movements. Individuals and groups have differing, and sometimes conflicting, interests and concerns, including differences that relate to their class, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age and/ or faith. These differences need to be understood- and taken into account- as the basis for building mutual trust. This chapter starts by exploring ways of sharing learning about differences and diversities within communities and social movements. This sets the framework for considering examples of campaigns which have succeeded in developing such shared understandings across differences, from environmental movements in Italy to housing justice movements in contemporary Britain.
Moving forward, this chapter explores ways of sharing learning, as the basis for building solidarity across time and space. The first example comes from India, as workers and communities shared their research on industrial malpractices, leading to the human and environmental disaster, when more than 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. Research findings and experiences were shared across the globe, supporting Indian communities in their struggles for justice and a safer environment. The second example comes from London’s Docklands where communities and local workforces shared their learning over the years, developing the case for alternative approaches to planning, sharing ideas about redevelopment to meet people’s needs rather than to promote private profitability.
This chapter starts by exploring different approaches to the notion of power. This sets the context for considering the tools that communities and social movements can apply, in order to understand power. Who has the power to make a difference in their particular situations? And how can the powerful be influenced – and where necessary challenged – most effectively? The chapter explores different analytical tools that can be used by communities, both locally and in international development contexts. The final section provides examples of power analysis in practice, providing guidance for developing strategies to challenge the Far Right in Britain, in recent times.
Community-university partnerships can lead to the co-production of really useful knowledge, enabling communities to research their own issues and concerns. As a result, communities and social movements can develop more effective strategies, in response. Such partnerships have significant potential, but only if they are based upon mutual understanding and trust. There are pressures on universities in the current policy context, impacting on the scope for developing collaborative rather than more competitive ways of working, respecting communities’ priorities and time constraints. Despite these pressures though, the chapter provides examples of mutually beneficial partnerships, including partnerships developing participatory research via community arts and cultural initiatives.