Ramón Flecha is a professor of sociology at the University of Barcelona, Doctor Honoris Causa from West University of Timişoara, and a renowned researcher in social sciences in Europe. Alain Touraine highlighted the contribution of Flecha in recognizing the knowledge of cultural analysis of people without studies:
At times, as Ramón Flecha demonstrates, knowledge goes from bottom to top, when individuals without degrees produce and invent cultural analyses based on their own experience.
combines rigorous research with facts, including the intention for a dialogical utopia. But this broad intention is presented in the book, joining theory with critique and empirical research with praxis, in such a charming way that it grabs its readers and captures them under its spell.
He attributes a strong coherence between his personal and social life and the values that he promotes in his research. His sociological contributions cover different areas; research methodology (communicative methodology), culture (dialogic literary gatherings), economics (successful cooperative actions), education (learning communities), cultural groups (distinction of modern and postmodern racism), new masculinities (alternative masculinities), sociology of science (scientific, political and social impact) and social theory (dialogic societies).
Ramón Flecha was born in 1952. In 1967, he collaborated in the creation of a cultural centre of activities in the most deprived area of his city of birth, Bilbao. He was a member of the clandestine opposition against Franco's dictatorship from 1969 until democracy arrived in Spain. During the years of dictatorship as a democratic leader, he opposed any dictatorship as well as sexual harassment within organizations. The application of the values of democracy, equality and freedom were consistent in their personal and social life. In 1978 he moved to a neighbourhood of Barcelona where there were shacks and founded La Verneda Adult School - Sant Martí, being the first Spanish experience published in the specialized journal “Harvard Educational Review” , and identified as one of the exemplary adult education experiences. He worked with Paulo Freire for more than twenty years, and the cultural creation of dialogic literary gatherings is known as one of the relevant pedagogical creations within the field of international critical pedagogy.
In 1991 Flecha founded the CREA research centre at the University of Barcelona. Currently, the centre has become a network of researchers from different universities . The communicative methodology created in the research centre has served as a reference in different fields of research, but with particular relevance in research focused on vulnerable groups. In 1997 he published his first book that included the theory of dialogic learning, subsequently published in English and in Chinese.
The theoretical basis is the basis of the transformation of schools into Learning Communities - School as learning communities. In parallel, to the development of research, as a professor at the University of Barcelona, he began to identify how the problem of sexual harassment in Spanish universities was severe. In 1995, he presented the first complaint to the university's governing team that addressed the issue by creating international organizations and procedures that were being carried out in other universities around the world. No measures were implemented until the Law for the effective equality of women and men 2007, which included the obligation of Spanish universities to have equality commissions and protocols against gender violence. He supported as director of the centre the women's group CREA-SAFO. This group is responsible for leading gender studies and the prevention of gender violence. He supported them when they decided to continue denouncing sexual harassment perpetrated in the university, as well as when they decided to lead the first investigation R&D on Gender Violence in Spanish Universities . Thanks to his support, despite the constant attacks and defamation of his person, was reflected in the first publication of scientific results on sexual harassment in Spanish universities in the international scientific journal Violence Against Women. From the beginning of his career until now he has directed numerous national and European research. Regarding the political and social impact, two of them should be highlighted.
The first, WORKALÓ research of the FP5 European Framework Program, was the first European research about the Roma in Europe, and the first, where researchers and members of the Roma community collaborated as a joint team. The main conclusion of the study was the need for recognition of the Roma people on the part of the institutions, and this contribution was introduced in a parliamentary session being approved unanimously by the European Parliament. As of that moment, several member states included in their parliaments the same recognition, as was the case of the Spanish parliament. The second, INCLUD-ED of the sixth European Framework Program, was selected as the only outstanding research in social and human sciences by the European Commission in its publication of the list of the ten successful scientific investigations. Concerning its political impact, the communication from the European Commission to the European Parliament stands out. This communication included the recommendation to promote learning communities in Europe - schools as learning communities- to overcome school dropout and improve academic results, one of the conclusions of the study. There are currently 685 learning communities-school as learning communities-, mainly in Europe and Latin America.
Distinctions and awards
His contributions have been awarded by various institutions, some examples;
- 2007 Doctor Honoris Causa by the West University of Timisoara
- 2012 Gold Medal for Merit in Education of the Junta de Andalucía
- 2016 Research Award for his contribution to schooling and academic success of roma students - Instituto Cultura Gitana
- 2019 Catalonia Award of Sociology 2019 - Associació Catalana de Sociologia
- 2019 Muncunill Social Innovation Award - Ajuntament de Terrassa
Some of his publications are;
- Puigvert, L., Gelsthorpe, L., Soler-Gallart, M., & Flecha, R. (2019). Girls’ perceptions of boys with violent attitudes and behaviours, and of sexual attraction. Palgrave Communications, 5(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0262-5
- Flecha, R., Soler, M. & Sordé, T. (2015).Social impact: Europe must fund social sciences, Nature, 528, 193. doi:10.1038/528193d
- Flecha, R. (2015). Successful Educational Actions for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe. New York: Springer.
- Flecha, R. (2014). Using mixed methods from a communicative orientation: Researching with grassroots Roma. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 8 (3):245-254. doi:10.1177/1558689814527945
- Flecha, R. & Soler, M. (2014).Communicative Methodology: Successful Actions and Dialogic Politics. Current Sociology, 62(2): 232-242. doi:10.1177/0011392113515141
- Flecha, R., & Soler, M. (2013). Turning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning. Cambridge Journal of Education. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2013.819068. This paper obtained the 2013 Best Paper Prize of Cambridge Journal of Education.
- Touraine, A.; Wieviorka, M.; Flecha, R. et al. (2004). Conocimiento e identidad. Voces de grupos culturales en la investigación social. Barcelona: Roure
- Flecha, R. (2000): Sharing Words. Theory and Practice of Dialogic Learning. Lanham, M.D: Rowman & Littlefield, also available in Spanish and Chinese.
- Castells, M.; Flecha, R.; Freire, P.; Giroux, H.; Macedo, D. & Willis, P. (1999): Critical Education in the New Information Age. Lanham, M.D: Rowman & Littlefield. Foreword by Peter Mclaren. Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.
- Flecha, R. (1999). Modern and postmodern racism in Europe: dialogic approach and anti-racist pedagogies, Harvard Educational Review, 69(2), 150-171.
- In 2007, Flecha was sworn in Doctor Honoris Causa by West University of Timişoara by a unanimous vote, due to his trajectory and scientific contribution to the social sciences. , retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Words of commentary from Alain Touraine about the book: Flecha, R. (2000): Sharing Words. Lanham, M.D: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Words of Ulrich Beck in the prologue of the book: Flecha, R.; Gómez, J. & Puigvert, L. (2003): Contemporary Sociological Theory. New York : Peter Lang.
- Giner, Elisenda. (2011). Amistad deseada. Aportaciones de Jesús Gómez y Ramón Flecha que están acercando la realidad a nuestros sueños [Desired friendship Jesús Gómez y Ramón Flecha's Contributions that are bringing reality to our dreams]. Barcelona: Hipatia Editorial. ISBN 978-84-938226-0-6. The book containing the doctoral thesis of Elisenda Giner, directed and supervised by Donaldo Macedo (University of Massachusetts), Floro Sanz (UNED) and Luis Torrego (University of Valladolid).
- Kim, K. H. (2017). Transformative educational actions for children in poverty: Sen's capability approach into practice in the Korean context. Education as Change, 21(1), 174-192 . Analysis of the contribution of communicative methodology -or also called critical communicative methodology - in the promotion of actions of social transformation (see page 182-184).
- Hargreaves, L., & García, R. (2016). Toppling Teacher Domination of Primary Classroom Talk through Dialogic Literary Gatherings in England. Forum, 58(1), 15. Quote on the contribution of Flecha on the creation of dialogic literary gatherings.
- Ellerman, D. (2016). Comment on Ramon Flecha and Ignacio Santa Cruz. The Priority of Labor and Capital Accounts . Analyse & Kritik, 33(1), pp. 171-174. doi:10.1515/auk-2011-0114.
- Wright, E. O. (2010). Chapter 5. The socialist compass. In Envisioning Real Utopias. (pp. 110–149). New York: Verso. Learning Communities is quoted as one of the real utopias on page 143.
- Dafermos, M. (2018). Relating dialogue and dialectics: a philosophical perspective. Dialogic Pedagogy: An International Online Journal, 6, 1–18. There is a reflection in relation to Flecha's contribution of the distinction of modern and postmodern racism on page A5.
- Nardini, K. (2019). Uneven Routes of Mobilizing ‘ as Men ’: Reconfiguring Masculinities among Anti-sexist Groups of Men in Italy and Spain . Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. The contribution of new alternative masculinities is collected on p. 143-144.
- Uribe Tirado, A., Ochoa Gutiérrez, J., & Medina Alfonso, D. (2019). Visibilidad de los investigadores de la Universidad de Antioquia en medios de comunicación internacionales, nacionales y regionales-locales. Revista Interamericana de Bibliotecología, 42(2), 107–126. The contribution on scientific political and social impact developed by the IMPACT-EV research Team is quoted on pages 108-109. Flecha was the main researcher of IMPACT-EV-
- Quenum, A. (2006). From Communicative Silencer to Responsive Listener : Participation and Public Dialogue in Benin . Duquesne University. The Flecha's contribution on dialogic societies is collected on page 75.
- Giner, Elisenda. (2011). Amistad deseada. Aportaciones de Jesús Gómez y Ramón Flecha que están acercando la realidad a nuestros sueños [Desired friendship Jesús Gómez y Ramón Flecha's Contributions that are bringing reality to our dreams]. Barcelona: Hipatia Editorial. ISBN 978-84-938226-0-6.
- Sánchez, M. (1999). La Verneda-Sant Martí: A school where people dare to dream . Harvard Educational Review, 3(69), 320-357. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.
- Crowther, J. (2009). Real utopias in adult education . Teoría de La Educación, Educación y Cultrura En La Sociedad de La Información, 10(3), 74–89. See section 4.1.- La Verneda Sant Martí School of Adults in Catalonia.
- Kincheloe, J. L. (2008). Critical pedagogy (Vol. 1),.Primer: Peter Lang. See page.91.
- Transformation of the research centre in network community of researchers, 2016.
- Bhabha, J., Fuller, A., Margareta Matache, J., Vranješević, E., Chernoff, M. C., Spasić, B., & Ivanis, J. (2011). Reclaiming Adolescence: A Roma Youth Perspective . Harvard Educational Review, 87(2), 186–225. See pages 192-193.
- Law for the effective equality of women and men 2007
- Final report of the R+D first study on Gender Violence in Spanish Universities
- Valls, R., Puigvert, L., Melgar, P. and Garcia-Yeste, C., 2016. Breaking the Silence at Spanish Universities Findings From the First Study of Violence Against Women on Campuses in Spain. Violence against women,p.1077801215627511
- Official index card of the WORKALO research in CORDIS database, European Commission.
- Workaló research is quoted on p. 23 - as a research reference in the elaboration of "Pla Integral del Poble Gitano" of Catalonia government.
- EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT. European Parliament resolution on the Situation of Roma in Europe and Marking the International Roma Day , PE 357.314v01-00, P6_TA-PROV (2005) 0151, 20 April, 2005.
- Congreso de los Diputados. Proposición no de ley relativa al reconocimiento de los derechos del pueblo gitano (Proposal not of Law regardingthe Recognition of the rights of the Romà). Diario de sesiones del Congreso de los Diputados. LegislaturaVIII, 27 de septiembre, 2005, nº114 , 5761–5768.
- Official index card of INCLUD-ED research in CORDIS database, European Commission
- European Commission (2011). Added Value of Research, Innovation and Science portfolio. MEMO/11/520. Brussels.
- COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Tackling early school leaving: A key contribution to the Europe 2020 Agenda.
- Schools as learning communities, official website.
- Comunidades de Aprendizaje's website in Latin America
- Horizone Europe program analysis includes the Monitoring the impact of EU Framework Programs report. , report where he has participated as an advisor to the European Commission for the realization of the impact assessment indicators of social impact of the research.
- Official index card of IMPACT-EV research in CORDIS database, European Commission.
- ORCID - Ramón Flecha
- The Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy, retrieved September 3, 2019.