eipcp transversal militante untersuchung
04 2004
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Common notions, part 1: workers-inquiry, co-research, consciousness-raising

Marta Malo de Molina

Marta Malo de Molina

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Maribel Casas-Cortés (translation)

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Sebastian Cobarrubias (translation)

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militante untersuchung

TRANSLATION of “Prologue” by Marta Malo in Nociones Comunes

Authored by Marta Malo, Madrid, August 2004
Translated by Maribel Casas-Cortés and Sebastian Cobarrubias, of the Notas Rojas Collective Chapel Hill, August 2005
Edited by other members of Notas Rojas, on line, February 2006


Throughout contemporary history, it is possible to trace a persistent distrust, on the part of movements for social transformation, towards certain forms of knowledge production and distribution. On the one hand, a distrust towards those sciences that aid a better organisation of command and exploitation, as well as distrust towards the mechanisms of capture of minor knowledges (underground, fermented in uneasiness and insubordinations, fed by processes of autonomous social co-operation or rebelliousness1) on the part of those agencies in charge of guaranteeing governmentality. On the other hand, in many cases, there has been distrust towards those supposedly “revolutionary” ideological and iconic forms of knowledge and a distrust of possible intellectualist and idealist mutations of knowledges that initially were born at the heart of the movements themselves. This distrust has lead to impotence in some occasions. In those processes of struggle and self-organisation that have been the most vivid and dynamic, there has been an incentive to produce their own knowledges, languages and images, through procedures of articulation between theory and praxis, starting from a concrete reality, proceeding from the simple to the complex, from the concrete to the abstract. The goal is that of creating an appropriate and operative theoretical horizon, very close to the surface of the ‘lived’, where the simplicity and concreteness of elements from which it has emerged, achieve meaning and potential.

Today, in the dawn of the third millennium, where the reality of our mothers and grandfathers seems to have burst into pieces before us (with the defeat of the anti-systemic movements from the post 1968 period, the end of the world defined by Yalta, the disappearance of the subject “workers’ movement”, the end of the industrial paradigm, informatic and technological innovation, automation, the deterritorialisation and reorganisation of production, the financialization and globalisation of the economy, the affirmation of a state-form based on war as a vector of normative production)2 and when the only thing that remains constant is change itself –dizzying change-, certain actions acquire a sense of urgency and necessity. The necessity of getting rid of fetishes and ideological backgrounds, too concerned with Being and essence, and the necessity of building operative maps, cartographies in process, emerging from dynamics of self-organisation, in order to be able to intervene in the real, and maybe to transform it. They are maps to orient and move ourselves within a landscape of relationships and devices of domination undergoing accelerated mutation. But they are also maps that can help us to situate ourselves in this hyper-fragmented landscape, to identify a point of departure and a link where the production of knowledge and subjectivity converge in the construction of the common, shaking the real.
This necessity is being reinforced, even further if possible, by the centrality that ‘knowledge’ and a whole series of generic human faculties (language, affects, communicability, social skills, playfulness and co-operation…) have achieved in determining the economic value of any business. In more general terms, they have acquired a centrality in competing in the upper echelons of the global economy, becoming strategic resources –from the capitalist point of view- for profit making and an interface of a flexible, delocalising and networked economy. Linked to all these transformations (at least in what concerns labour) is the figure of the virtuouso: that worker, until now taken as unproductive, that does not leave behind him a tangible product, but a task based on execution or performance – favouring and managing the flow of information, networking and harmonising relationships, producing innovative ideas, etc. The figure of the virtuouso challenges by its own actions traditional divisions between Labour, Action and Intellect (Hannah Arendt): the intellect, put at the service of labour, becomes public, mundane, and its character as a common good rises to the fore. At the same time, labour, embedded in the intellect, becomes activity-without-end product , pure virtuosity executed in relationship to the other, to the others that compose the networks of production. Finally, in the merging of intellect and work, and since both of them adopt properties that until now were specific to action, action itself is left completely eclipsed, after its specificity has been erased3.
Related to all of this (not as a univocal or direct consequence, but rather as a complex and paradoxical relationship), a peculiar proliferation of experiments with -and search among- the realms of thought, action and enunciation is found within social networks that seek to transform the current state of things (and within a social formation that is already, in itself, virtuous, since it is forced to be so in order to survive). They are initiatives that explore: 1) how to break with ideological filters and inherited frameworks; 2) how to produce knowledge that emerges directly from the concrete analyses of the territories of life and co-operation, and experiences of uneasiness and rebellion; 3) how to make this knowledge work for social transformation; 4) how to make operative the knowledges that already circulate through movements’ networks; 5) how to empower those knowledges and articulate them with practices….and finally, 6) how to appropriate our intellectual and mental capacities from the dynamics of labour, production of profit, and or governmentality and how to ally them with collective (subversive, transformative) action, guiding them towards creative interventions.

Certainly, these questions are not new, although the context in which they are asked may be. In fact, many of the current experiences/experiments that are asking these questions, have looked back, searching for historical references. They are searching for those examples where the production of knowledge was immediately and fruitfully linked to processes of self-organisation and struggle. In this sense, four inspirational tendencies are possible to identify in recent history: worker inquiries and co-research, feminist epistemology and women’s consciousness-raising groups, institutional analysis, and participatory action research or PAR. All of these examples, deserve (due to the wealth of accumulative experience) at least a brief overview, in the style of a historical excursus that allows us to situate current discussions and trajectories of militant and/or action research. We will dedicate large part of this prologue to this historical journey.


SOME SOURCES OF INSPIRATION

Worker Inquiry and Co-Research

The worker survey, where workers themselves use the techniques of academic industrial sociology (a sociology that was developed and used in order to have better command over factories and neighbourhoods), begins at least with Karl Marx himself. In 1881, Revue Socialiste asks Marx to elaborate an inquiry about the conditions of the French proletariat. Marx accepts this assignment immediately, because he thinks it is important for the French worker movement and its sects, so given to empty language and easy utopic thinking, to situate their struggle in a more realistic terrain. So, Marx writes up a peculiar inquiry with more than one hundred questions, thousands of copies of which will be distributed throughout the factories of the country. Why peculiar? Because this inquiry denies a neutral approach to the world of labour, it is against an approach exclusively looking for the extraction of useful information, or for the verification of certain facts. This inquiry situates itself, openly, on one side (the side of the workers’ reality), with questions that would be judged as biased by an empiricist sociologist. It is not about pulling facts out from direct experience, but rather, it is in the first place oriented to make the workers think critically about their concrete reality4.

The idea of “co-research”, that is, a form of research that tears down the division between the subject-researcher and object-researched will not appear until the fifties in the United States. This appearance is linked, on the one side, to the effervescence of industrial sociology and the focus on human groups as a specific field of sociological inquiry (i.e. Elton Mayo’s “human relations” sociology5); and on the other side, to the worker’s stories6. However, these insights were considered exclusively from an academic sociological point of view. The Italian Alessandro Pizzorno, after importing it to Europe, helped to develop its politicised dimension. Pizzorno, together with a group of Italian militant-intellectuals, (including Romano Alquati and Danilo Montaldi7) would begin to transform and radicalise these methods between 1966 and 1967 applying them practically to struggles in the province of Cremona.

During the sixties and the seventies, the use of the worker inquiry and co-research spreads under different formats: it is used as a device to analyse forms of exploitation in the factory and neighbourhoods, as well as a mechanism to track forms of insubordination by teams from journals such as Quaderni Rossi and Quaderni del territorio (Italy) or groups such as Socialisme ou Barbarie (France). However on many occasions, these techniques were driven by workers’ spaces themselves, in a more or less flexible way, without the intervention from theoreticians or “experts” external to the processes of self-organisation. These techniques were used as methods to construct platforms for struggle8. In the Spanish state, the journals of Teoría y Práctica, and Lucha y Teoría would develop their own forms of worker research, conceived to write the history of class struggle “narrated by its own protagonists” (as the subtitle to Teoría y Práctica put it).

From our point of view, it is worthwhile paying special attention to the uses of the worker-survey employed by Italian operaismo (workerism a section of the Italian workers’ movement)9. The young operaisti, gathered in initially around the journal Quaderni Rossi10, attempted to explain the crisis of the workers’ movement during the fifties and the early sixties. For the operaisti, it was not possible to interpret this lived crisis merely as a result of either the theoretical errors, or betrayals by the leadership, of leftist parties (an argument repeated by those orthodox elements of the communist and anarcho-syndicalist sections of the workers’ movement). In contrast, the operaisti argued that the crisis had taken place because of the intense transformations, in the productive process and the composition of the labour force, introduced by the Scientific Organisation of Work. Thus, the use of the inquiry was intended to reveal a “new worker condition”. Looking at the condition of these new subjects, how they could reopen spaces of conflict and reinvigorate workers’ demands become a central theme for the operaisti’s practice and discourse.

However, divergences around the procedures and focus of theinquiry emerged from the beginning. As Damiano Palano tells us “a rather basic fracture emerged around the form and the goals of the survey, since the formation of the first Quaderni Rossi group. On the one side, there was the faction of “sociologists” (lead by Vittorio Rieser)11, and at that time the most numerous. This section understood the inquiry as a cognitive tool in order to understand a transformed worker reality, and oriented towards provide the tools for producing a theoretical and political renovation of the worker movement’s official institutions. On the other side, we find Alquati and a few more (Soave and Gaparotto), who, based on factory experiences in the US and France, considered the inquiry as the basis for a political intervention oriented towards organising workers’ antagonism. It was a considerable difference from the point of view of the concrete goals of the survey. The distance was even greater though in terms of method: in fact, while the first faction was actualising Marxist theory with themes and methods from North American industrial sociology, Alquati was proposing a kind of strategic research in the study of the factory”12.

What was this strategic inquiry about, proposed by Alquati, the one who had developed the method of co-research together with Danilo Montaldi, and who is remembered for using his bike to travel to the Fiat and Olivetti factories? What was the basis of this epistemological and methodological turn that was present in the most interesting uses of the worker-survey within the Italian operaismo? To put it shortly, the basis was a theory of class composition, which later on would be complemented by a theory of worker self-empowerment (or auto-valorisation). These concepts meshed with the Lukacs’ inspired ‘workers’ theory’, and with the ‘Copernican revolution’ inaugurated by Mario Tronti, another operaista. Tronti’s implicit basis was that of worker autonomy. That is, a potential autonomy of the working class with respect to the capital. But let’s go step by step.

The notion of class composition refers to the subjective structure of needs, behaviours and antagonist practices, sedimented through a long history of different struggles. The first development of this concept appears in the first writings by Alquati published in Quaderni Rossi. However this first (“organic”) formulation will have to wait to be introduced in the operaista vocabulary. This happened when the journal Classe Operaia13, in its second year, decided to include a specific section with this same name (class composition), directed by Alquati himself.

But, what are the fundamental elements of the theory of class composition? Basically, they are three: 1) an idea of the existence of an underground and silent conflict continued on an everyday basis by workers against the capitalist organisation of labour; 2) the notion that the hierarchical organisation of business is in fact just a response to workers’ struggles; 3) an intuition that all cycles of struggle leave political sediments that become crystallised in the subjective structure of the labour force (as needs, behaviours and antagonistic practices), and that demonstrate certain quotas of rigidity and irreversibility.

Very soon, the theory of class composition would become more complex, drawing the distinction between “technical composition” and “political composition”. The first one refers to the situation of the labour force in an internal relation with capital during a concrete historical moment, and the second one to a set of (antagonistic) behaviours that, in that moment, define the class. However, some sections of the operaisti14 killed the theoretical richness of this distinction and even the notion of class composition itself. They reduced the technical composition to a simple economic factor, and identified political composition with the party (and with worker movement’s ideologies and organisations). Nonetheless, the theory of self-empowerment as a process of class composition (developed by Antonio Negri in the seventies), helped consolidate a more complex interpretation: the definition of political composition as the product of conducts, traditions of struggle and concrete practices of refusing work (all of them exclusively material) developed by multiple subjects in a given historical moment and in a specific economic and social context.

The theories of class composition and self-empowerment have crucial consequences for the worker inquiry. The group of “young socialist sociologists” writing in Quaderni Rossi, did not take them into account. For them, the inquiry was limited to considering the “effects” generated by the productive transformation over workers, over their physical and psychological conditions, over their financial situation and over other particular aspects of life. However, the other segment working on the operaista survey, was encouraged by the idea of class composition as the product of historical sediments of preceding struggles, and at the same time, being constantly renewed by the process of self-empowerment enrooted in the materiality of rebellious practices by multiple subjects of production. The inquiry then was conceived as departing from the consolidated levels of social antagonism in order to trace the underground, and frequently invisible, trajectory of everyday life uneasiness and insubordinations15.

This version of the worker inquiry implied a further step from the simple questionnaire towards a process of co-research: one the one hand, inserting militant-intellectuals, who were pursuing research into the object-territory (almost always the factory, and some times, neighbourhoods), transforming them into additional subject-agents of that territory. On the other hand, actively implicating the subjects who inhabit that territory (mainly workers, and sometimes, students and homemakers) in the research process, at the same time, would transform them into subject-researchers (not merely objects). When this double movement worked well, the knowledge production emerging from the research process mutually nurtured a self-empowerment process and the production of a rebel subjectivity in the factory and neighbourhoods.16


Consciousness-Raising Women’s Groups and Feminist Epistemology

Although the antecedents could be traced back centuries –such as women’s informal meetings and experiences such as the Blackclubwomen’s Movement after the US war of secession (1865)17- consciousness-raising groups, in the strict sense, were born from the radical feminist movement in the US during the late sixties. Kathie Sarachild baptised the practice of collective analysis of oppression emerging from sharing women’s feelings and experiences in a group, as consciousness-rising. This was in 1967 in the framework of New York Radical Women.

Since their inception, consciousness-raising women’s groups aimed to focus on the self-awareness that women have about their own oppression, in order to promote a political reinterpretation of their own life and establish bases for its transformation. Following radical feminist terminology, they aimed to “wake the latent consciousness”. Through the practice of consciousness-raising it was hoped that women would become experts in their own oppression, building a theory from personal and intimate experience, and not from the filter of previous ideologies. Besides that, this practice looked for recognition of the voices and experiences of a collective, which has been systematically marginalised and humiliated through history.

The slogan “the personal is political” was born from the same practice. It was through this slogan and others that recognition was demanded for consciousness-raising practice, based on historic struggles and revolutions, as a “scientific method”. As Kathie Sarachild herself said: “The decision to emphasise our own feelings and experiences as women and to test all generalisations and reading we did by our own experience was actually the scientific method of research. We were in effect repeating the 17th century challenge to science to scholasticism: ’study nature, not books’, and put all theories to the test of living practice and action. It was also a method of radical organising tested by other revolutions. We were applying to women and to ourselves as women's liberation organisers the practice a number of us had learned as organisers in the civil rights movement in the South in the early 1960's.”18

The promoters of consciousness-raising groups were certain that the only way to build a radical movement was starting from the self. This was yet another slogan popularised by the feminist movement: “It seemed clear that knowing how our own lives related to the general condition of women would make us better fighters on behalf of women as a whole. We felt that all women would have to see the fight of women as their own, not as something just to help ‘other women’, that they would have to see this truth about their own lives before they would fight in a radical way for anyone.”19

Consequently, consciousness-raising groups were a mechanism to simultaneously produce truth and organise, theory and radical action against an oppressive gender reality. It was not a previous analytical phase limited in time, nor a goal in it self:

“Consciousness-raising was seen as both a method for arriving at the truth and a means for action and organising. It was a means for the organisers themselves to make an analysis of the situation, and also a means to be used by the people they were organising and who were in turn organising more people. Similarly, it wasn't seen as merely a stage in feminist development which would then lead to another phase, an action phase, but as an essential part of the overall feminist strategy.”20

Initially, the creation of consciousness-raising groups caused a big scandal, both from within the women’s movement and from without. They were pejoratively labeled as “meetings for tea and cookies”, “gossip sessions” or “gatherings of witches” (depending on particular tastes, misogynous traditions or prejudices). These spaces were the target of all kinds of accusations, and especially of not being political, but rather therapeutic and remaining at the individual level. The very slogan “the personal is political” was coined in response to these critical “torpedos” coming from all directions. This response had an affirmative and defiant spirit that questioned the bases of what until then was counted as “political”.

Despite the initial conflict, the practice of consciousness-raising spread like a wildfire: women’s groups and organisations from all over the world, including those that initially were infuriated with the apolitical character of these “witches gatherings” (such as the National Organisation for Women), began to use the practice of consciousness-raising, adapting it to their needs. This occurred to such a point that a tendency towards the institutionalisation and formalisation of consciousness-raising emerged around 1970. This process changed the practice of consciousness-raising into a set of abstract methodological rules distanced from the objectives and concrete context of the movement in which they were born. In that regard, Sarachild would insist firmly that consciousness-raising does not constitute a “method”, but a critical weapon, adaptable to the goals of each struggle:

The paraphernalia of rules and methodology -- the new dogma of ‘C-R’ that has grown up around consciousness-raising as it has spread -- has had the effect of creating vested interests for the methodology experts, both professional (for example, psychiatrists) and amateur. There have been a number of formalised "rules" or "guidelines" for consciousness-raising which have been published and distributed to women's groups with an air of authority and as if they represented the original program of consciousness-raising. But new knowledge is the source of consciousness-raising's strength and power. Methods are simply to serve this purpose, to be changed if they aren't working. 21

In conclusion, the basis of consciousness-raising was only one, as simple as it was difficult to put into practice: “Analysing our experience in our personal lives and in the movement, reading about the experience of other people's struggles, and connecting these through consciousness-raising will keep us on the track, moving as fast as possible toward women's liberation.”22

However, this excessive emphasis on the level of pure consciousness and the idea that a “latent consciousness” existed in all women about their oppression as women, ready to be made visible, made some groups believe in a “true consciousness”. It was conceived as a pre-existent object instead of something to be generated. Following this notion, some groups focused more on the interpretation of oppression rather than in the dredging of underground practices of rejection and rebelliousness, less explicit and maybe, less “true” for those times. All things considered though, the practice of consciousness-raising was one of the central motors of the feminist movement of the seventies and allowed for the design of plans of action and demands directly connected with the experience of thousands of women: from the spectacular public burning of bras through which the New York Radical Women came to light, to the clandestine networks of family planning and self-management of health that flourished in many European countries and in the US. On top of that, many of the intuitions present in the formulation and practice of these meetings “with tea and cookies” would generate a whole feminist epistemology developed by intellectual women from different disciplines since the seventies up until the present.

Tracing the trajectory of the different trends of feminist epistemology is beyond the scope of this paper. Sandra Harding though would attempt tracing just such a trajectory in 1986, with all the simplifications and reductions that such a classificatory operation implies. She distinguishes between theory from the feminist point of view, post-modern feminism, and empiricist feminism23. On the other hand, it is a history developed mainly in the academic sphere, although with important effects in many scientific disciplines. All things considered though, we believe that it is worth mentioning, even if in a brief fashion, some of the common notions among those feminist trends. Especially the implicit intuitions in the practice of consciousness-raising that actually serve as inspiration for current initiatives of critical social research, militant research or action-research linked to movements’ self-management dynamics.

In the first place, it is important to mention the thorough critique developed by feminist epistemology against the eye of current positivist science “that can see everything” and it is situated in “nowhere”: an image that, in reality, it is just the mask of a subject of knowledge that is largely masculine, white, heterosexual, and from a comfortable class position, who as such, occupies a dominant position and has concrete interests in controlling and ordering (over bodies, over populations, natural, social and mechanistic realities…). The supposed neutrality from this kind of gaze is lead by a dualistic paradigm that solidifies the mind/body dichotomy completely, where mind dominates the bodily “deviations” and its affects, always associated with the feminine. In an effort to blast apart that disembodied subject of knowledge, without falling into relativist narratives, feminist epistemology proposes the idea of a subject of knowledge who is embodied and rooted in a concrete social structure. It is thus a subject who is sexualised, radicalised, etc). who produces situated -but no less objective- knowledges. All the contrary: as Donna Haraway writes “only partial perspective promises objective vision”. This partial perspective demands a politics of localisation and an engagement with a concrete territory from which to speak, act and research24. Directly related to this critique towards the dominant scientific gaze, feminist epistemology makes special emphasis in the power relations at play in every kind of research, and in the consequent need for a social organisation of research based on the paradigm of reflexivity and criteria of transparency and democracy. Finally, by recuperating an underground practice of all subaltern groups, practices and interrelation and narrative are valued as part of the processes of knowledge production and transmission.

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This text is the first of two of the prologue of the book Nociones Comunes. Experiencias y Ensayos entre Investigación y Militancia [Common Notions. Experiences and Essays at the Intersections of Research and Militancy]. 2004. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños (pp. 13-27). The second part of this prologue will be published in the 4th quarter 2006 in the frame of the transversal webissue “instituent practices”.

1*Primary translators: Maria Isabel Casas-Cortés and Sebastian Cobarrubias. Editing translation team: Notas Rojas Collective, in particular Nate Holdren. This text was published under Creative Commons license which allows non-copy righted distribution or non-commercial use, and asks for authorship attribution. With the author’s permission the translators have incorporated some complementary material in some of the sections (e.g. PAR) and additional references in the footnotes.

 About the notion of minor knowledges, see works by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, especially, Mil Mesetas. Capitalismo y Esquizofrenia, [A Thousands Plateaux: Capitalism and Schizophrenia] PreTextos, Valencia, 1997

2 See Sánchez, Pérez, Malo and Fernández-Savater, “Ingredientes de una onda global”, unpublished manuscript written in the framework of a research project called Desacuerdos: www.desacuerdos.org

3 Paolo Virno, “Virtuosismo y revolución. Notas sobre el concepto de acción política”, in Virtuosismo y revolución. La acción política en la era del desencanto, Traficantes de Sueños, Madrid, 2003, pp. 89-116 [Available in English as “Virtuousity and Revolution,” online at http://www.16beavergroup.org/mtarchive/archives/000941.php.]

4 Yaak Karsunke and Gunther Wallraff, Karl Marx. Encuesta a los Trabajadores. Castellote ed., Madrid, 1973. [See in English, “A Worker’s Inquiry,” online at http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/04/20.htm.] In the first three sections of the survey, the questions are focused on analyzing the characteristics of exploitation itself, while the last section, is oriented to encourage workers to think about oppositional modes against their own exploitaition.

5 See, for example, Elton Mayo, Problemas humanos de una civilización industrial [Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization], Buenos Aires, Nueva Visión, 1972

6 They are first person stories about the everyday experience in the factory. A beautiful example is the text by Paul Romano and Ria Stone, El obrero americano, about workers’ conditions and the class-factory-society relationship (The American Worker, Bewick Editions, Detroit, 1972; originally published as a pamphlet by the Johnson-Forest Tendency of C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya in 1947, and translated to Italian by Danilo Montaldi. For more on this text and its importance, see Harry Cleaver, Reading Capital Politically, AK Press/AntiThesis, 2000).

7 Far from the figure of Gramsci’s organic intellectual, these militant-intellectuals have a long trajectory of political involvement, including the formation of a group called Gruppo di Unitá Proletaria (Cremona, 1957-1962), active participation (especially by Alquati) in journals such as Quaderni Rossi, origin of Italian operaismo, and development of strong international relationships, (especially by Montaldi), with groups such as the French Socialisme ou Barabarie. Alquati, younger than Montaldi, would learn from him and from his international references (e.g. authors such as Daneil Mothé, Paul Romano or Martin Glaberman) to concede special importance to the everyday underground antagonisms coming from the networks of material communication built by workers against increasing factory control and “against working” (the foundations for more visual and explosive conflicts).

8 See “Entre las calles, las aulas y otros lugares. Una conversación acerca del saber y de la investigación en /para la acción entre Madrid y Barcelona” [“Between the streets, classrooms and other places. A conversation around knowledge and research within and for action between Madrid and Barcelona”] in this same publication, (pp.133-167).

9 (The best English language sources on operaismo are Steve Wright, Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism, Pluto Press, 2002; and Harry Cleaver, Reading Capital Politically, AK Press/AntiThesis, 2000.)

10 Funded and directed by the anomalous socialist dissident Raniero Panzieri. Publication period: 1961-1965

11 Alquati called them “young socialist sociologists”: besides Vittorio Rieser, other intellectuals participating in this trend were Dino de Palma, Edda Salvatori, Dario Lanzarno and Liliana Lanzardo.

12 Damiano Palano, “Il bandolo della matassa. Forza lavoro, composizione di classe e capitale sociale: note sul metodo dell’inchiesta”, en http://www.intermax.com/temi/bandolo.html. Translation and notes are author’s.

13 Publication period: 1964-1967. The editorial committee was formed by a good part of the Quaderni Rossi group (Mario Tronti, Romano Alquati, Alberto Asor Rosa and Antonio Negri). They had abandoned it because of disagreements with the faction of Raniero Panzieri.

14 For example, the one led by Massimo Cacciari who later on will become part of the Italian Communist Party.

15 See Damiano Palano: “Il bandolo della matassa”, cit.

16 For more information about the use of the inquiry and other aspects of Italian operaismo, from a point of view internal to the experience, see, among others: Guido Borio, Francesca Pozzi and Gigi Roggero, Futuro anteriore. Dai “Quaderni Rossi” ai movimenti global: richezze e limiti dell’ operaismo italiano, DeriveApprodi, Roma, 2002, y Nanni Balestrini and Primo Moroni, L’Orda d’oro. 1968-1977: La grande ondata rivoluzionaria e creativa, politica ed esistenziale, Feltrinelli, Milán, 1988. [See Steve Wright, “Children of a Lesser Marxism?”, http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/12/16/1529237&mode=nested&tid=2 and Enda Brophy, “Italian Operaismo Face To Face”, http://info.interactivist.net/article.pl?sid=04/11/23/156200&mode=nested&tid=9

17 Blackclubwomen’s Movement was formed by association of mutual support, composed exclusively by women. They provided emotional and logistical support to slave women recently liberated.

18 Kathi Sarachild, “Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon”, in Feminist Revolution, Random House, New York, 1978, pp. 144-150. Digital version at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/wlm/fem/sarachild/html.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Ibid.

23 Sandra Harding, The Science Question in Feminism, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1986. Authors such as Nancy Hartsock, Hilary Rose, Patricia Hill Collins and Dorothy Smith would represent the theory from the feminist points of view. Donna Haraway and Maria Lugones would contribute to postmodern feminism, and Helen Longino and Elizabeth Anderson to the critical empiricist feminism. With the passage of time, the borders between these three trends have become blurry as Sandra Harding predicted herself. For a brief (although encyclopedic) compilation of the state of question about feminist epistemology, see the beginning of “Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. See also Sandra Harding, Is Science Multicultural?: Postcolonialisms, Feminisms and Epistemologies, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1998.

24 Donna Haraway, “Conocimientos situados: la cuestión científica en el feminismo y el privilegio de la perspectiva parcial” en Ciencia, cyborgs y mujeres. La reinvención de la naturaleza, Ediciones Cátedra, Madrid, 1995, p.326