Conducting ICT Research in Community Networks: Reflections from a Long Term Study of the European Social Forum

Por Saqib Saeed, Markus Rohde, Volker Wulf

Universities and research institutions need to cooperate with civil society networks to conduct socially responsible research in the field. These social organizations differ from traditional organizations as to their organizational form, structure, operations and work practices, which add further implications to the field work. In this paper, we will present our experiences of conducting ethnographic action research at the European Social Forum, which is a European network of heterogeneous social activists participating in the anti-globalization movement. We will discuss the problems that we faced in our field work and will then briefly describe the findings of our work to help other researchers comprehend the difficulties in conducting field work in such settings.

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