Developing the network – again

The meeting we aimed to have at Barcelona clashed with other events so we were unable to have much discussion.  Thanks to those who have commented already but I have yet to receive much in the way of feedback on the paper setting out proposals.Liberation Psychology Network – Discussion Paper: Proposals for Developing the Network and I really would appreciate your input. The network won’t be a reality without active participation so please do comment, in these ways.. 
Here on this site by posting a comment (or a blog post for something long),
or
via the email-list (if you are already signed up to that post to openlibpsy@googlegroups.com

If you are having difficulty using the site, look here first.

I look forward to discussion, ideas and offers!

Mark

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5 thoughts on “Developing the network – again

  1. Good morning,

    I have two questions in initial response to Mark’s discussion paper:

    1. How can we pursue active participation from liberation psychologists from the global south?
    2. What are some of the issues with peer review model of a journal that we need to be mindful of?

    Deanne

  2. Good morning,

    I have two questions in initial response to Mark’s discussion paper:

    1. How can we pursue active participation from liberation psychologists from the global south?
    2. What are some of the issues with peer review model of a journal that we need to be mindful of?

    Deanne

    • I’d really like to hear people’s ideas on the first question Deanne raises: 1. How can we pursue active participation from liberation psychologists from the global south? I think we need to pursue a number of parallel strategies:- ensure that issues arising from the South are reflected in the content of the site; make available low cost ways of communicating – meeting at conferences is not going to reach most people, just those lucky enough to get funding (and increasingly in times of austerity (attack on the people by the elite) this is true for workers in the North too – so let’s explore virtual approaches such as webinars, skype conferences, using the email list and so on. We also need to make sure documents re available freely – I always post at least a pre-publication draft of anything published in a book or journal, knowing that there is a clear contradiction between publishers’ profits and dissemination.
      2) My problem with peer reviews for theoretical / praxis based work is that it is a model developed for scientific publications. So often I’ve had comments back that are basically saying “I’d like you to have written a different paper” or “I don’t agree with your stance/assumptions”. As Greg indicates the peer review role needs limiting to checking for logical coherence (and this too is potentially problematic – what kind of logic – linear sylligistic, dialectical, analectical?) and for consistency with the ethical orientation of the journal. I liked the approach taken by the UK journal Critical Social Policy in its early years where reviewers worked with authors – particularly practitioners to help them develop their writing. And for the many who use English as a second or third language, we need to make available constructive help and certainly not simply reject articles on the basis of poor language – and this requires commitment and work, but perhaps not that much more than conventional peer-reviewing. So any ideas how we might operationalise this?

      • 1. The next step I see in coordinating with colleagues in the global south is to determine (if we don’t already know,) what communication methods they use and prefer, then get specific about what we can offer and what they think they might want. Trying to get people to use new technologies is very hit-or-miss, so it’s best to use whatever people are already using even if it’s not the optimal tool. But then we’ll have a clear communcation channel and no clear idea what to do with it, so we’ll need to talk about what exactly a north-south partnership can do, at a tactical level: e.g. co-edit a journal, spread the word when repression of social movements happens, co-edit a book, spread the word when censorship of scholars happens, raise money, trade skills, forward calls for papers, forward calls for action.

        2. Here’s a wordpress-friendly tool for running a peer-reviewed journal online:

        http://annotum.org/

        Or we can just do it by hand with existing tools, if we don’t think people are willing to climb the learning curve.

        As for logic, I don’t think each academic subfield needs its own epistemology. Papers should be clear about what rules they’re operating under, so it’s not tennis without a net, but a wide variety of methods will help keep the conversation from going stale.

        As for moral principles, the grassroots groups I like set simple points of unity and leave people to work out the details in their specific circumstances. E.g Food not Bombs’ points of unity are: free vegan food, consensus decision-making, nonviolent direct action. Within that, do what you like. We could make similar principles out of Martin-Baro’s three elements and three urgent tasks, or the compass points at the front of Watkins and Shulman. They might need to be more elaborate since we’re doing intellectual labor rather than giving out free food, of course.

        We could set specific writing standards that are looser than journals normally are, or leave it up to the discretion of editors. And asking editors to help submitters refine their writing for an academic audience is a great idea. It would be good if we could split the difference between academic and popular audiences, writing things that are nuanced and formal enough for academics while being readable to people outside the field. Too many publications are for their own sake, with no one reading them outside of their own small academic circles.

  3. 1. I’m heavily influenced by the counter-globalization movement, and in that context they raised money to fly people from the global south to big events up here, and we mostly took our strategic cues from communities of struggle in the southern hemisphere, like the zapatistas and the landless peasant movement.

    2. A lot of what peers review for is basically using the right fork with the salad–a test to see if you’re thoroughly embedded in the professional culture, which restricts the conversation to those who have the privilege necessary to get that socialization. A more liberatory peer review might narrow its focus to what really matters–the soundness of the logic and the usefulness of the ideas, rather than academic trends and legalistic details of presentation.

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