RT092 - Revealing hidden, multiple knowledges: solidarity in practice
Convened by Mike Powell (Emergent Works Ltd., UK) and Sarah Cummings (Wageningen University, the Netherlands)

This roundtable aims to introduce and discuss different methods for identifying and engaging with different perspectives and multiple knowledges. Working in solidarity requires listening to the priorities and opinions of those you are aiming to support.  It requires a capacity to find relevant material from a range of sources and to identify people who can contribute to developing and fulfilling common agendas. Poor connections between academic disciplines and between academia, development policy and development practice make this difficult. But the question remains, how do you show these hidden multiple knowledges.

The roundtable will comprise the following participants:

  • Sarah Cummings (Chair) (Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands)

  • Márton Demeter (Karoli Gaspar University/ National University of Public Service, Hungary) on Using network science methodologies to identify academic elitism

    [Draft] The educational paths and networks of core staff members (n = 3325) of the world’s top 100 sociology departments. Results show that a significant overrepresentation of central countries and considerable gender bias can be found throughout sociology departments with strong male dominance in high positions. By using an improved word-systemic model for the interpretation of our data, we were able to categorize the main agents and patients in the world-system of global elite sociology, and we could also describe those centripetal and centrifugal forces that absorb and re-educate peripheral talent while excluding those without Western reeducation.

  • Charles Dhewa (Knowledge Transfer Africa, Zimbabwe) on Literature and stories in conveying knowledge for sustainable development

    Ordinary people’s ambitions, aspirations, hesitations, fears and solutions are hidden in the stories they tell and share. Unless you listen at various levels, you may miss some of the important messages and coping mechanisms. To the extent most of the stories that anchor development in Africa have not been documented, African communities thrive on ‘oral literature’. Such stories are the mental software in informal agricultural markets across Africa.  The invisible hand of the market is expressed in stories. Unless somebody begins weaving a story on what is going on, you will be forgiven to think that informal markets are characterized by chaos. Yet it is through stories that prices and rules of the game are set to the benefit of food producers, distributors and consumers.

  • Leah de Haan (Chatham House, UK) – young scholar – on Feminist critical discourse analysis to reveal hidden discourses

    Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is one type of discourse analysis which aims to ‘understand, expose, and ultimately resist social inequality’ (van Dijk, 2005: 352). To demonstrate its current relevance and efficacy, many authors have used it to analyse the text of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030. The way in which CDA has been, and can be used to reveal the ‘hidden’ dominant, marginal, oppositional or alternative discourses within policy texts, such as policy documents and speeches will be discussed, together with a tool aiming to make CDA easier to apply by non-academics to better understand policy documents.

  • Mike Powell (Emergent Works) on Revealing thematic links

    opic Maps, as a form of mapping technology, offer the potential to identify the various factors – issues, processes, subjects, people - which may contribute to a particular problem or field of study and the links between them. They can be created on-line in real time in workshop settings and are of particular value in cross-boundary investigations where no one may be fully aware of all the relevant actors, perspectives and resources which may be relevant to the study.  An example, produced for the Wellcome Trust on ‘Research Engagement’, can be found at drupal.ikmemergent.net/topic_map_engagement

  Outline of the session:

The session comprises a roundtable format with a short introduction followed by five presentations of approximately 5 minutes each.  This, allowing time for people to settle down, would allow for at least 30 minutes of open discussion. In order to increase interactions, we will use a chat wave and, if possible, breakout rooms using a jamboard.