Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

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  • Periodic Report Summary 1 - GENIDMOV (Construction and modes of expression of differences in collective action of Afro-Americans and Latinos in a California barrio. Two case studies: One East Palo Alto and San Francis of Assisi.)

Periodic Report Summary 1 - GENIDMOV (Construction and modes of expression of differences in collective action of Afro-Americans and Latinos in a California barrio. Two case studies: One East Palo Alto and San Francis of Assisi.)

(i) the research context and field of the project
GENIDMOV examines collective identity and its potential emerging into public space in a context of post-economic crisis and rising social inequalities in the United States of America. The project focus on the study on the main processes and specific factors that allow vulnerable people (Women, Blacks and Latinos) to participate in public space and to affirm their citizenship. This study takes place within two organizations Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) and Just Cause/Justa Causa (CJJC) in one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of Oakland City in North California - West Oakland - characterized by large socioeconomic inequalities, poverty and segregation, taken as a magnifying mirror of political participation for “low resources” people.

From in-depth interviews and considering subjects' sociological characteristics, we reconstitute individual trajectories of underprivileged people and we show the diversity to their relationship to politics by examining the dynamics of gender, class, race and ethnicity as barriers to political participation. Do they express voice or exit, apathy or solidarity? Do they have a sense of belonging and collective identity? Do they express loyalty to or distrust of the Democratic Party after Obama 's election in 2008?

The objective of this research is to increase our understanding of the obstacles and needs for opportunity enhancement for economic, social and political integration of immigrants, minority groups and women in a life-course perspective. It would allow to identify the critical issues in order to conduct appropriate policies of diversity and social equality in the future.

The purpose is also not to limit ourselves to the presentation of the social mechanisms of a phenomenon that affects a particular population, but to take this object of study as an entry feature for renewing the great questions of sociology and political science, such as various forms of political participation of individuals, the multiple modes of political socialization, the ways of the politicization of public causes and the elements that define a democratic society and social changes.

(ii) scientific work performed to achieve the goals defined in Annex 1
From 4 November 2013 to 3 November 2015, three phases were implemented:
- Phase One: Literature review and Training (Month 0-10)
- Phase Two: Fieldwork (Month 11-19)
- Phase Three: Construction of a new analytical framework (Month 20-24)

(ii) scientific results obtained
Three milestones in research were achieved: the implementation of the fieldwork, collection of empirical data from the two organizations selected for the study: OCO and Just Cause, the construction of the analytical framework.
First, this study required a long fieldwork to collect empirical data to elaborate survey questionnaires in order to proceed to a first selection of activists’ profiles. These profiles were based on their diversity in terms of gender, age, origin, culture, occupation or social activity. Next, semi-structured interviews were conducted and completed during an in situ observation of their activist practices.
Second, data was collected through a variety of methods (questionnaires, exploratory, in-depth and semi-structured interviews, participant observation, field notes, reading activist archives and local press articles).
The third achieved milestone consisted in the development of an Analytical Framework the analytical framework of this study from the interpretation of the empirical data collected.

(iii) Impact of the project results
The preliminary results allowed to be invited to the Third ISA (International Sociological Association) Forum of Sociology (10-14 July, 2016) in Vienna/Austria; and IPSA (International Political Science Association) and the 24th World Congress of Political Science in Istanbul (23-28 July, 2016); 10th ECPR General Conference (The European Consortium for Political Research), Prague (7-10 September 2016) with the ECPR Standing Group "Identity" with a view of preparing publications for peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore, the research fellow submitted draft communications for colloquiums organized at international, national level for the return phase. The research fellow is preparing a workshop at Ceri/Sciences Po in October 2016 to compare the political consequences of poverty in Europe and USA.


Olivier Romeo, (European projects manager)
Tel.: +33 1 45 49 83 70


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