Collective learning in and from social movements: The Bhopal disaster survivors
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Scandrett, E. (2019) Collective learning in and from social movements: The Bhopal disaster survivors. In: Kleibl, T., Lutz, R., Noyoo, N., Bunk, B., Dittmann, A. & Seepamore, B. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Social Work. Oxon: Routledge.
The issues facing social work are those which social movements have raised and made demands on the state to address. Social movements develop their self-understanding of these demands through collective learning based on praxis. Social work services therefore need to be close to social movements praxis and ensure that services are linked to their demands. However, this can raise questions about the role of formally educated classes in supporting social change. In a post-colonial context learning from social movements globally. Cox and Nilsen’s Social Movement Process theory provides a useful framework with which to understand these developments. This chapter uses Social Movement Process theory to interpret the experience of the Bhopal survivors’ movement, which has emerged demonstrates that a movement made up largely of people with minimum levels of formal education learn collectively to challenge local injustices and to make the connections to wider issues in the struggle against multinational corporations.