CLASS, VOICE, AND STATE:
Knowledge production in self-organised working class activity and the politics
of developing community television in Ireland using PAR strategies.
PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
This thesis is concerned with how working class self-organised communities use media as
part of their process of knowledge production. It documents a participatory action
research (PAR) project that sought to encourage the involvement of community
organisations in the process of developing community television in the Republic of Ireland.
It is particularly concerned with the involvement of Community Media Network (CMN) in
the process of forming Dublin Community Television (DCTV) from vision to reality. The PAR
project and the thesis form part of the knowledge production process around community
media; the purpose of the thesis is to map the process of forming DCTV and to clarify the
self image – what it as come to be; to identify fault lines in the ‘how-to’ knowledge that
exists, and to identify the possibilities that emerge from the investigation
My argument identifies community media (CM) in general and community television (CTV)
in particular, as activity that is part of the process of working-class “voice” but constrained
by interaction with the state. The relationship between knowledge production and
ownership of the means of production is key to the organisation of community media; the
dynamics and historical context of such organising shapes these media and determines
directions and patterns in the movement’s activity.
Building the technological organisation needed to facilitate “voice” is a core focus of the
investigation. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach provided a framework in
which the tacit knowledge of participating groups could be brought to bear on the building
of the new organisation. PAR means that the researcher is a participant and it also allows
participants to engage in and direct the research process. This means that the researcher’s
role can be complex; the interests and concerns of all involved are live and determining
factors; and that the research question may be re-visited as the research – or knowledge
production – process uncovers underlying needs and dynamics.
The thesis explores the contexts in which the organisation developed and the forces by
which it was shaped. The challenge we faced is represented most by the changes in the
research question - as the problematic focused on the evolving gap between building the
technical organisation and the engagement of community organizers in the process.
||CLASS; VOICE; STATE; Knowledge production; self-organised working class activity; community television in Ireland; PAR strategies;
||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
||30 Nov 2010 15:59
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