Participatory Action Research (PAR) Shifting Paradigms: An Applied Anthropologist and a Socio-Spiritual Movement Meet the Ozarks By Matt Oppenheim, Ph.D

In the fall of 2001, I began to experiment with a process of participatory action research (PAR) in the spiritual movement I have been dedicated to for over twenty- five years, Ananda Marga (Ananda Marga is a global spiritual movement, based on the teachings of eastern mysticism – see www.anandamarga.org) and its associated organization for social liberation Proutist Universal (see www.prout.org). While our philosophy encourages a process of...

Read More

Service-learning Projects

(a).  Cesar Chavez Service-learning and Social Justice.  Students in middle school learned about the values, activism and life of Cesar Chavez in developing projects that empowered their parents, addressing health, legal, work-place language assistance, and local food. (b).  Foundational Coordination of Service-learning for California State University, Channel Islands.  Workshops, training, networking, university-wide collaboration,...

Read More

Creation of “The Village Academy” In cooperation with the Pacoima Urban Village, California.

Funded by the Crail-Johnson Foundation.  Through action research and grass roots organizing, a community learning institute was started, building on the skills and talents of local Hispanic and black community members to teach courses, from Citizenship to ESL, drama, computers, community leadership, gang transition, to community festivals.

Read More

Into the Likeness of the Country: an Analysis of Australia’s Urban/Rural Crisis, based on PROUT (The progressive Utilization Theory)

A year was spent analyzing the strengths and challenges of the Murray Darling River Basin in Australia, studying the discrepancies between rural and urban sectors, as well as the historical themes and cultures of the region.  Meetings were held with key participants and organizations in the region to include their key issues, needs and ideas.  Several workshops were given with large community groups to further development a collective strategy...

Read More