Participatory action research in practice: who owns Appalachia?

John Gaventa recaps and differentiates between two related studies concerning land ownership in Appalachia. The first was conducted during the summer of 1971 across several East Tennessee counties. It affected Gaventa’s pursuits over the next 50 years, including publication of his book Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley, and facilitated further research into the matter. The second, formally known as the Appalachian Land Ownership Study, was conducted in the mid-1980s. It concentrated on ownership of rural lands in six states, findings of which were published in the book Who Owns Appalachia? Gaventa closes with recognition of ongoing, follow-up projects coordinated by the University of Kentucky and highlights the power of participatory action research in advocacy work. Follow this link for access to the full-length interview.

More on the 1971 land ownership study: (1) Context and origin, (2) Findings

More on the Appalachian Land Ownership Study (mid-1980s):  (1) Context and origin, (2) Research methodology

Recorded October 2021.