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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter illustrates the core methodological challenges and ultimate benefits of constructing engaged social movement theory through examining the design and implementation of the Prime Movers program, a philanthropic fellowship supporting social movement leaders in the United States. Through building on the work of the Boston College Media Research and Action Project, an entity that bridged the work of scholars and activists, the author integrated theory and practice and co-constructed knowledge by bridging social movement theory and activism. Milan’s methodological framework is used to explore the questions of relevance, accountability, power, and risk in doing this work. It concludes with recommendations for the activist/scholar who seeks to bridge distinctive worlds, especially academia to activism, in order to ensure that knowledge and practices are shared in multidirectional ways so that the creation of knowledge is democratized and therefore more valuable to the society.

Keywords: social movement theory, social activism, power in research, activist/scholar, social action research, academia and activism, media research, public scholarship

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