participatory action research

The Appalachian Land Ownership Study: an emblem of citizen-driven participatory action research

John Gaventa further describes how the 1977 flood mobilized citizens toward supplementary research into the inequities connected to land ownership, taxation practices, and other local power dynamics. They requested funding from the ARC for what over time developed into the Appalachian Land Ownership Study, an effort that involved close review of courthouse tax records in …

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Findings of the 1971 land ownership study and subsequent legal action

John Gaventa elaborates on initial findings from the 1971 land ownership study and what transpired in response. With documented evidence of inequitable corporate control over land and natural resources (due in large part to unfair property taxation practices and the absence of proper mineral rights assessment), local citizens sought legal action. These included (but were …

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Context behind and origin of the 1971 land ownership study

John Gaventa delineates the context and probing question behind his earliest research into land ownership in Appalachia, as proposed in collaboration with Bill Dow: why are some of the wealthiest, natural resource-rich counties in East Tennessee also the poorest (in terms of overall living conditions and with regard to funding for public services, such as …

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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 …

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