Is methodological activism in culturalstudies possible? Participation inthe perspective of the philosophy of praxis
The main aim of the paper is to refine and highlight one of the topics of this book, which is the overlap of several different understandings of cultural participation: 1) based on cultural theories and traditional, continental cultural studies discourses, where participation was usually understood as acontribution of the subject to the collective systems of beliefs; 2) based on the “critical theories” of culture, British cultural studies, political philosophy and critique or art theory and practice, where the term participation is often used to explain agrassroot, bottom-up activity, civic participation and acontribution of individuals and groups to public domain, 3) based on the political philosophy and the political practice, 4) based on contemporary theory and critique of art practices, empirical social research of cultural participation. All of these understandings have a lot in common, they are negotiable as well. What differentiates them, possibly, is the concept of social/cultural change which they involve. However, the concept of relation between action, knowledge and beliefs which they assume is far more important. The theoretical perspective, which in my opinion can serve as a way to negotiate these approaches, is modern philosophy of praxis and contemporary theories of social practice. I discuss whether there is apossibility to integrate these discourses in the model of activist research for Polish cultural studies in the context of increasingly intensifying debates around the performativity of cultural research and the need to “came back to the rough ground” of social practice.