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    They say cutbacks: we say fightback. A case study of a grassroots anti-water charges community campaign group in Crumlin, Dublin using a participatory action research (PAR)approach


    Mac Cionnaith, Criostoir (2015) They say cutbacks: we say fightback. A case study of a grassroots anti-water charges community campaign group in Crumlin, Dublin using a participatory action research (PAR)approach. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This research project was inspired by a Gramscian orientation towards radical social transformation. The study had a dual purpose. It aimed firstly, to produce new knowledge that could assist in answering perplexing questions relating to the motivations and rationale underlying working class people’s unprecedented responses in 2014 to the Irish government’s imposition of domestic water charges in an era of crisis driven neoliberal structural adjustments and austerity. This, in turn has given rise to the emergence of the largest non-politically aligned mass movement since the foundation of the State, specifically in the form of the current anti-water charges community movement. Secondly it sought to garner movement relevant knowledge that could positively contribute to activist practice by documenting and analysing subaltern counter hegemonic organisational activity, thus offering insight and understandings of those presently pursuing radical social transformation. An initial review of the existing academic literature revealed little in the way of research on this area of interest thus highlighting both the relevancy and value of this particular study. The research was conducted by means of a critical qualitative case study of a grassroots anti-water charges community campaign group in Crumlin, Dublin using a participatory action research (PAR) approach. It employed multiple methods namely a focus group and eleven in depth semi structured interviews supplemented with desk top research and a rudimentary analysis of an open community group Facebook page. One of the key findings revealed by this study was that the primary driving force behind the local community fight back in Crumlin was not the issue of water per se, rather it was triggered by what Gramsci termed ‘a crisis of hegemony’, where the authority of the State to govern had been called into question. This, the research findings suggest has been largely caused by a combination of several years of inflicted harsh austerity measures, government double standards and perceptions of systemic corruption. This central finding has been corroborated by previous research undertaken by Hearne (2015) on the same topic. The study also found that the local Crumlin campaign had adopted aspects of ‘horizontalism’ into their campaign structure, decision making and tactics but that this, alongside efforts to maintain their autonomy as a politically nonaligned community group was causing unforeseen tensions and problems among the activists. Finally, the research also highlighted the innovative and widespread use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) namely mobile phones and the internet, with Facebook activism, constituting a pivotal counter hegemonic organisational component of the community campaign. The research concludes with a number of recommendations on future research

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: Submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism
    Keywords: case study; grassroots anti-water charges community campaign; group; Crumlin; Dublin; participatory action research approach; PAR; MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 12269
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 12:18
    URI:

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