This course introduces students to community-based research, its fundamental tools, and the potentials and limitations of particular methodologies.This kind of research may draw on philosophy of science, feminist scholarship, and critical social sciences, but it is ultimately research based in communities and driven by the needs of those communities. As such, it may not always meet reigning scientific or scholarly standards, and is prone to criticisms of bias or particularism. At the same time, it has the potential be more salient and meaningful to community members and to advocates of social change. In this class, we will explore these tensions around community-based research, addressing questions like: Do its potentials outweigh its limits? And what are the best ways to determine community need and to conduct this kind of research as a response to that need? Much of the course time, however, will be dedicated to carrying out projects based with three community-based groups in the New York City area. By the middle of the semester, the course will have moved entirely out of the classroom and participants should be willing to travel to different locations in the city.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)