Nicolina Montesano Montessori holds a PhD in linguistics, specialised in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). She is one of the founders of the Amsterdam Critical Discourse Community. She is a fellow researcher of the research group The Moral Dimensions of Education in Utrecht. She is vice president of the Dutch Foundation for Peace Studies in the Netherlands, where she successfully contributed to establishing a special chair on human rights and business at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands. She has published widely on Gramsian approaches to hegemony, social movements (Zapatista Movement, Occupy in Spain), social entrepreneurship, social justice, democratic citizenship and practice oriented research. Her published work includes programs as to how to integrate CDA with participatory action research, thus creating a strong tool for empowerment and social change. She is active as a participatory action researcher, having performed and conducted research on social justice in four classrooms, and democratic citizenship with vulnerable adolescents in a vocational school. She currently performs collaborative action research in the city of Utrecht to support the municipality with social entrepreneurs in a joint effort to shape the participatory society. Her research so far has benefitted deprived adolescents, the empowerment of teachers and other professionals. She has specialised in innovative research instruments, such as narrative enquiry, in order to provide ownership to the participants in her research groups, thus creating an optimal climate for social change and personal development.
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