Filling Holes -- The academic side of the APCOL project
Learning Changes, Vol. 1 No. 1 Fall 2009
Where APCOL Fits into Current Research
by Peter Sawchuk and Sharon Simpson
Our APCOL project is using action research to fill in several important gaps in the existing resources on anti-poverty activity. By doing this, we can deepen and widen our ability to understand ways in which activists and communities take on the challenges of poverty in Toronto and elsewhere.
Learning Changes, Vol. 1 No. 2 Spring 2010
Social Networks, Activism and Community Mobilizing
by Stephanie Ross
Recently, people involved in anti-poverty policy-making, community economic development and social movement action and research have begun to focus their attention on the role of social networks in facilitating community action and change.
Social networks are our webs of relationships, whether family, friends, schoolmates, co-workers, neighbours, or fellow movement activists. These networks link us not just to each other as communities but also to the institutions of power in our society. Some researchers argue that our social networks and relationships should be understood as social capital because they allow us to access a range of economic and non-economic resources. In other words, as the old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, that matters.”
Learning Changes, Vol. 2 No. 1 Fall 2010
Combining Case Study and Survey Methods in Anti-poverty Research
by D. W. Livingstone
Many researchers tend to think the chances of effectively mixing case study and survey methods are as likely as mixing oil and water. Survey methods rely on counting responses and computing patterns; case studies interpret the meaning of participants’ stories rather than counting them. Sample surveys of relatively large numbers of people can generate summary statistics about the general population of areas ranging from local neighbourhoods to countries. In-depth case studies typically focus on small numbers of people in particular settings and bring forth stories about personal experiences. Most of the research on poverty issues falls on one side or the other: either statistical indicators of poverty or personal testimony about living conditions.