Researching Collective Action and Social Change: Extending Michael Burawoy’s Extended Case Method

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Thomas MUHR, Habib University Karachi, Pakistan
Susana MELO, Habib University Karachi, Pakistan
This paper proposes a socio-spatial ethnographic methodology to research projects and processes of neoliberal mainstream contestation. We build on Michael Burawoy’s extended case method and the notion of ‘global ethnography’, which we put in dialogue with theorisations of place, space and scale. We argue that a case can socio-spatially extend out beyond a particular place-bound ‘site’ or ‘case’ in order to account for multiple interconnected places at different geographical scales. This approach allows for empirically sustaining how neoliberalism as a project and as a process of social transformation is being counteracted and displaced in different geopolitical configurations. Muhr’s spatial ethnography of the construction of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), as a distinct post-neoliberal democratic project, illustrates the deployment of our methodological proposal.