Collaborative Sociological Practice: the Case of Nine Urban Biotopes

Rooke, Alison. 2016. Collaborative Sociological Practice: the Case of Nine Urban Biotopes. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 29(3), pp. 327-340. ISSN 0891-4486 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper examines the socially engaged art project Nine Urban Biotopes (9UB), an international exchange between European and South African cultural organisations. Two artist residencies offer case studies of collaborative arts and research practice. The ways that these case studies are read as ‘failures’ and ‘successes’ illustrate the complexities of North- South collaborations. This project, the partnership that sustained it and the residencies that were central to it, exemplify, in modest ways, how public sociology can be realised in modest ways in a global context. This paper shows, with examples, that whilst partnership and collaboration are emphasised in institutional and policy discourse, in practice these arrangements are filled with tension and unequal power relations between partners. An evaluative methodology premised on sociological practice allows the tensions that are inherent in partnership and collaboration to be recognised and productively interrogated. It also allows us to reimagine what ‘success’ and ‘failure’ looks like in research partnerships by working with the antagonisms that are integral to collaboration.

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Art Research, Collaboration, Partnership, Dialogue, international sociology

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9 November 2016Accepted
10 June 2016Published Online
September 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2018 12:31

Last Modified:

23 Mar 2021 11:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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