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❶This can be observed clearly in two problem areas that are represented in contributions to this special issue, namely "psychiatric disorders" and "disabilities.

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Definition of PAR
Participation Action Research
par·tic·i·pa·to·ry

In her article, COOK shows that, in the United Kingdom at least, public and patient involvement PPI in research is sometimes even explicitly required by funding bodies. In this framework, the primary aim is not to change practice in the course of research. Rather, the aim is to produce knowledge in collaboration between scientists and practitioners.

Therefore, some representatives of the participatory research paradigm stress that, besides the mere participation of co-researchers in the inquiry, participatory research involves a joint process of knowledge-production that leads to new insights on the part of both scientists and practitioners.

From an action research viewpoint, reflection is not without consequences for people's everyday practices. From a scientific perspective, however, producers of knowledge would be well advised initially to evade demands for pragmatic utility. Therefore, the following elaboration of distinctive features of participatory research is intended as an invitation to the qualitative community to make greater use of participatory research elements—especially if they do not share the aspirations for change that are characteristic of action research.

As the articles in this special issue reveal, participatory methods open up new and broader perspectives for the research of everyday practices, especially where the methodology and self-concept of qualitative social research are concerned. These find expression in the basic principles of openness, communication, and the appropriateness of the method to the subject under study.

Every type of research calls for social conditions that are conducive to the topic and to the epistemological approach in question. In contrast to nomothetic research, which can be carried out under almost any social conditions, participatory research requires a democratic social and political context. The participation of under-privileged demographic groups, and the social commitment demanded of the researchers, are possible only if there is a political framework that allows it.

The connection between democracy and participatory research can be clearly seen in Latin America, for example, where, after the collapse of dictatorships, a general increase in participation on the part of the population has been observed, and—linked to that—an upswing in both academically-driven and practitioner-driven participatory research LENZ, To put it pointedly: The possibility of conducting participatory research can be regarded as a litmus test for a society's democratic self-concept.

The authors point out that a society's understanding of democracy—as consensus democracy or majoritarian democracy—has consequences for the extent of participation, the research questions and aims, and the research results. Participatory research requires a great willingness on the part of participants to disclose their personal views of the situation, their own opinions and experiences.

In everyday life, such openness is displayed towards good and trusted friends, but hardly in institutional settings or towards strangers. The fear of being attacked for saying something wrong prevents people from expressing their views and opinions, especially when they appear to contradict what the others think.

However, participatory research specifically seeks these dissenting views; they are essential for the process of knowledge production because they promise a new and different take on the subject under study, and thereby enable the discovery of new aspects. In order to facilitate sufficient openness, a "safe space" is needed, in which the participants can be confident that their utterances will not be used against them, and that they will not suffer any disadvantages if they express critical or dissenting opinions.

It is not a question of creating a conflict-free space, but rather of ensuring that the conflicts that are revealed can be jointly discussed; that they can either be solved or, at least, accepted as different positions; and that a certain level of conflict tolerance is achieved.

The authors demonstrate how such communicative space must be produced anew in the various phases of the research process. They distinguish three phases in the process of participatory research: The authors also point out that the "practices of developing such communicative spaces are necessarily paradoxical and contradictory," with the result that negotiation processes must be continually engaged in. Therefore, the research contract; the boundaries of the communicative space; the type of participation; leadership; opportunities to express anxiety; and the balance between order and chaos must be continually negotiated.

The outcome of this negotiation process is a symbolic space in which, in the best case, the participants can trust each other and, thus, express their views on the subject under study.

Although they draw on different concepts, authors continually stress how important it is that the research process open up spaces that facilitate communication. They argue that it is decisive for research that a safe space be created in which openness, differences of opinion, conflicts, etc. With the acceptance of participatory research approaches by various funding bodies for example, the Department of Health in England and the World Bank , there are a growing number of programs that stipulate the use of participatory research strategies in the funded projects.

However, "participation" is understood more as the involvement of any groups of people who are not professional researchers. As a result, the concept "participatory research" loses its clear contours. A fundamental dichotomy can be observed in participatory research. On the one hand, there are a large number of studies in which academic researchers and professional practitioners collaborate; the practitioners are either involved in the research or carry it out themselves with the support of professional researchers.

Prototypes of this kind of research in English-speaking countries include participatory action research PAR , co-operative inquiry, and participatory evaluation; examples in German-speaking countries are action research and practice research HEINER, On the other hand, participatory research is conducted directly with the immediately affected persons; the aim is the reconstruction of their knowledge and ability in a process of understanding and empowerment.

In the majority of cases, these co-researchers are marginalized groups whose views are seldom sought, and whose voices are rarely heard. Normally, these groups have little opportunity to articulate, justify, and assert their interests.

The basic dilemma revealed here is that these marginalized communities are in a very poor position to participate in participatory research projects, or to initiate such a project themselves. This can be observed clearly in two problem areas that are represented in contributions to this special issue, namely "psychiatric disorders" and "disabilities.

This has led to the development of theories and practices that may well be considered helpful by those affected, but may also be perceived as hegemonial knowledge. Moreover, research is classified into different theoretical models depending on the labels used to describe the research partners—and this happens without explicit discussion see COOK, and RUSSO, This, too, can be clearly observed in the psychiatric area.

The label "service user" denotes an extremely heterogeneous group that might also include the family, friends, and neighbors of the patient, in other words, everyone who is affected directly or indirectly by a certain service offering.

By using the term "consumer," research is classified into the economic market model; the term "patient" assigns it to the medical model; and, finally, the term "survivors" of psychiatric treatment classifies it into an alternative model of affected persons. Especially in England, psychiatric "survivors" stress the need for alternative models of psychiatric problems and ways of dealing with them—models that are not shaped by the medical model and thus by the economic interests of the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry.

Moreover, they argue that the development of such alternative models calls for independent research that is completely controlled by the survivors themselves. When research is conducted together with the affected persons, the methodological question arises as to which persons, or groups of persons, should, or must, be involved.

This question must be addressed, especially in view of the fact that different groups have developed different knowledge in the area under study. Furthermore, it is the declared aim of participatory research to access and harness these different types of knowledge.

Therefore, it is important to determine exactly which groups will contribute their knowledge to the joint research results. Only by so doing, can the different types of knowledge be related to each other, and a possible practical use be outlined.

It is generally argued that those persons, groups, and institutions who are affected by the research theme and the expected outcomes must be involved. However, criticism is voiced that, when it comes to sampling, participatory approaches frequently rely on the utterances of the local participants or the client and that the sample is inadequate or faulty as a result see v.

Overall, what is lacking is a systematic procedure. However, there are various pragmatic strategies with which the groups to be included can be determined more exactly.

UNGER presents a solution with which diverse groups such as users and their organizations, community leaders, citizens, clubs and societies, professional practitioners, professional societies, etc. This can be carried out within the framework of a snowball system via those who are already included, and can take place step by step during the research process. The methodological problem lies in a distortion of the research process and outcomes if relevant actors are not prepared to get involved in the participatory research process, or if some field participants are quasi invisible.

These "invisible" field members can be groups who have been excluded by other actors, or who, for whatever reason, have not received information about the project. Moreover, it would appear plausible that the professional researchers cannot rely on the utterances of the field participants alone, because numerous exclusionary processes may occur in the field, and involvement in a participatory research project may represent a privilege and a distinction for which people compete.

However, these authors, too, do not go beyond a pragmatic list of groups of persons who may be disadvantaged by the procedure in question.

A systematic solution could be achieved only by a structural theory about the particular area under study. However, such a theory is frequently not available; nor can it be developed within the framework of individual projects. The social location of those people who are affected by the researched problem, who share a material or socio-psychological milieu, and have a common experiential background must be precisely identified. This common background will—at least in theory—facilitate communication and joint action.

Once it has been clarified who should be involved in the research project, further decisions must be made. Which activities the co-researchers should—or can—participate in, and whether there should be different degrees of participation for different groups, are questions that are discussed in very different ways in the literature. Although developed with reference to citizen participation, it has been applied in various attempts to develop an overview of types of participation in research projects see account in v.

These questions have been posed mainly by research participants—for example persons with experience of psychiatric institutions, or persons with learning difficulties—who have traditionally been regarded as objects of research, and who have only recently spoken out. From this perspective, the proposal of ladder models that allow those on the lower rungs no control over research decisions, does little to clarify matters. Unless people are involved in decisions—and, therefore, research partners, or co- researchers—it is not participatory research.

Ladder models suggest the existence of a continuum, and thereby blur basic differences COOK, Whether the affected persons are merely interviewed, or whether they participate directly in research decisions, possibly implies completely different social-policy and professional-policy backgrounds and underlying philosophical positions.

So-called "early" forms of participation, such as the briefing of professional researchers by those who are affected by the problem under study, can, at most, be described as preparatory joint activities that may facilitate participation in the research project at a later date. However, the problem with these forms of participation is that they may constitute "pseudo participation.

The phenomenon can also be observed in many other research fields, where such "early" forms of participation are abused in order to motivate the affected persons to co-operate and to disclose personal information by giving them the false impression that they have a say in the research process. To distinguish the various types of participation, we consider it more appropriate to specify the decision-making situations in the research process, and the groups of participants, and to disclose who, with what rights, at what point in time, and with regard to what theme, can participate in decisions.

Such a procedure is presented in the present special issue by v. The situation is quite different in the case of research projects controlled by the affected persons themselves—for example, "survivor-controlled research" ROSSO, Here, by definition, the persons who are directly affected participate in all decisions. However, even in this case, it would appear necessary to specify who, or which group, participates in which decisions, because, here too, there are positions of power and competition between individuals or groups.

The fundamental decision not to treat the research partners as objects of research, but rather as co-researchers and knowing subjects with the same rights as the professional researchers, gives rise to a number of questions about the material resources needed for participation.

As a rule, professional researchers receive a salary for their work—although, in academically-driven research, this remuneration is often quite low. Normally, the co-researchers receive—if anything—expenses, and they are expected to make their knowledge available free of charge.

The taken-for-grantedness of this situation must be called into question because co-researchers frequently belong to lower social classes or marginalized groups and have limited material resources at their disposal. This means that such resources must be guaranteed during their participation in the project.

The necessity of material support is not limited to the remuneration of direct co-operation in the research process. Rather, people from marginalized, low-income groups also need other forms of material support. GOEKE and KUBANSKI point out that, besides paying an independence-enhancing research fee, the willingness of persons with disabilities to participate in research projects can be increased by the provision of assistance on site, and barrier-free access.

There is no rule about what material resources should be made available to research partners. It depends on the group in question. Resources provided could include travel expenses, childcare costs, food for participants with special dietary needs, compensation for loss of earnings, etc.

Such support for research partners has, of course, advantages and disadvantages. On the downside, "paid" participation can become a job like any other and can cause people to distance themselves from, or compete with, other community members. However, what is decisive is that remuneration signalizes social recognition of the value of the individual's contribution to research.

If participatory research genuinely aims to put the relationship with research partners on an equal footing, then the socially dominant form of recognition must be used. It should be noted that financial resources for the co-researchers must be allowed for when planning participatory research projects, and that funding bodies must be requested to accept the inclusion of such resources in the financial plan.

In the classical research setting, the relationship between researchers and researched seems to be clearly defined. Basically, it is a non-relationship in which the researcher is, as far as possible, neutral or invisible.

Anything else is considered to lead to the distortion of the results or to threaten the internal validity. This situation changes radically when the relationship between the participants is put on a participatory footing. In this case, the perspectives of the various partners and their differences of opinion are important for the process of discovery; objectivity and neutrality must be replaced by reflective subjectivity.

This calls for willingness on the part of the research partners from the life-world under study to enter into the research process, and the necessary knowledge and ability to participate productively.

An apparent dilemma inherent in participatory research becomes visible here. On the one hand, participatory research aims, in particular, to involve marginalized groups in the production of knowledge and, by so doing, to foster empowerment. On the other hand, these are the very demographic groups who are characterized by a lack of competencies and social capital cf.

For this reason, they are deemed also to be lacking the competencies necessary to participate in the research process. The only way out of this dilemma is to ask who defines these deficits and from what perspective.

The answer is obvious: They are defined by representatives of the dominant social group—in this case scientists—who specify the necessary knowledge and ability against the background of their familiar worldview and their methodological requirements.

In this way, research becomes a very demanding task that calls for many competencies. By contrast, the primary aim of participatory research is to give members of marginalized groups a voice, or to enable them to make their voices heard.

What counts is that they bring their experiences, their everyday knowledge, and their ability into the research process and thereby gain new perspectives and insights RUSSO, The difference between the academic worldview and that of the research partners from the field is actually an asset which must be exploited in the exploration process. Therefore, mutual curiosity about the knowledge and ability of those on the "other side" and what one can learn from them is so important.

It enables all participants to acquire new roles and tasks that differ clearly from those of "classical" research.

This means that all participants must change considerably in the course of the participatory research process—both on a personal and on a cognitive level. And yet, the importance of the individual participant and his or her personal competencies, motivation, etc. It shapes how we respond within and to the research process. If we have control, it also shapes the research process itself. In participatory research projects, professional researchers acquire new and unfamiliar roles—this is especially evident in the case of user-controlled research.

However, role distribution in participatory research is not static. Rather, it is subject to continual change. This is due not least to the relatively long duration of participatory research projects. Months, or even years, can elapse between the beginning and the end of a project. During this time, various developments occur in the group of research partners that shape the way they relate to each other. Such changes in the role structure have long been familiar to us from ethnological studies, in which researchers spend a long time in the field.

HEEG attempted to capture the temporal sequence of qualitative procedures by using the metaphor of the curriculum vitae. The different stages he describes can be adapted to participatory research as follows: At first, the professional researchers enter the field as "foreigners"; as time goes by they assume the role of "mobilizer," "service provider," "provider of information," and "ally"; eventually they become "patrons"; and, in the best case, they finally become "mentors.

Within the framework of participatory research there are also other challenges that researchers must face. The research themes, and the biographies and social background of the research partners, call for very intensive contact. However, collaborative research with people who have a history of marginalization is possible only on the basis of trust RATH, This trust must be allowed to develop; it builds on long-term, honest relationships that are characterized by closeness, empathy, and emotional involvement.

Here it is important that researchers show their own emotional reactions. The academic requirements described in detail in Subsection 4. At the present point in time, one can safely say that, in a number of disciplines, scientists who pursue a participatory research project—within the framework of a qualification process, for example—become outsiders in the academic community.

This calls for considerable courage and willingness to swim against the current, and, possibly, to put up with disadvantages. The diversity of requirements and roles demands from the researcher very different competencies and skills, and a high degree of flexibility and reflexivity—things that are not acquired in the course of conventional university education.

In a similar way to the professional researchers, the roles of the non-professional research partners, and the way they perceive participation, change over time. At first, they may view the research project with anxiety, distrust, and detachment, and see themselves as outsiders who are expected to furnish information as in conventional research processes.

At the same time, they are personally empowered and develop dispositions such as self-confidence, self-assurance, and a feeling of belonging. However, participation in participatory research also calls for specific knowledge and skills—in other words, competencies, which the participants must gradually acquire.

These include, for example, linguistic competencies, the ability to proceed systematically in the research process, communicative skills in dealing with groups, etc.

Professional researchers should offer training courses and workshops on these thematic areas see "capacity building" in v. UNGER, and impart these skills in their everyday dealings with the co-researchers.

A key task in this regard is to design training units and choose methodological approaches in such a way that they build on the initial state of knowledge of the participants and develop it further. The development of different roles is not without conflict. In the various phases, the relationships—and all other aspects of the research—must be continually reflected upon, and emerging conflicts must be dealt with jointly.

In participatory research, all participants are involved as knowing subjects who bring their perspectives into the knowledge-production process. The potential of the individual subjects to acquire knowledge is shaped by their biological makeup, their personal and social biography, and their social status.

This calls for a high degree of reflexivity in the sense of self-reflexivity and reflection on the research situation and the research process. This is a particularly important issue for action researchers who are intimately involved with the subject of the research, the context in which it takes place, and others who may be stakeholders in that context.

This requires, on the one hand, a safe space with open communication—a "communicative space" see Subsection 3. On the other hand, it calls for numerous types of support on the part of both the professional researchers and the co-researchers.

Therefore, the ability to be responsive to the needs of others, to give them time and space for reflection, etc. Reflection can be focused on different things. Personal reflexivity focuses on personal assumptions, values, experiences, etc. We suggest distinguishing four focuses or types of reflection from which techniques and instruments can be derived that can facilitate reflexivity on the part of participants.

The potential closeness of the research participants, and the type of research theme socially taboo issues such as sexual abuse, experiences in psychiatric institutions, poverty, etc. Writing from a psycho-analytic perspective, Georges DEVEREUX was one of the first to point out that reflection on such personal ways of reacting can be used as a source of knowledge.

Whether a psycho-analytic theory background is needed for this type of reflection is, of course, debatable. However, what is undisputed, in our view, is the fact that, in a participatory research context, it is necessary to disclose such personal dispositions—at least to the extent that they impact collaborative work on the object of research.

Conditions conducive to such openness can be created in group settings—for example, in the widely used focus groups—in which an accepting attitude is fostered BORG et al.

However, there appear to be inadequacies in the way such groups are run in practice. Ideas for improvement could perhaps be gleaned from the various therapeutic and consultation group concepts available.

As we pointed out earlier, the different interests of the participants inevitably lead to conflicts in the research group from time to time. This means that the relationships between the group members must also be regularly reflected upon in order to shed light on such conflicts and, if possible, to defuse them. As far as we are aware, there has been little discussion in the literature about the way in which such group conflicts can be reflected upon and moderated.

This is surprising when one considers that there is a rich body of literature on group dynamics. The concept of "theme-centered interaction" TCI proposed by Ruth COHN can be considered an example of an attempt to foster social learning and personality development in a group setting.

When applying TCI, an effort is made to keep all the elements—the theme in question, the conflict in the group, the individual participants, and the political, ecological, and cultural context the "globe" —in view at all times and to reflect upon them. Following Pierre BOURDIEU's concept of sociological self-reflection , , the social determination of the participating knowing subjects, and of the participatory project, must also be reflected upon.

The focus here is on the social conditions of possibility and the limits of the individual subjects and the participatory research project as a collective knowing subject. It is a question of reflecting on the political, economic, and social context conditions in which the research theme and the research project are embedded. In fact, structural reflection is undertaken in all the articles. Therefore, it is all the more important that it be recognized as a separate type—and an essential element—of reflective practice in participatory research.

This type of reflection is largely consistent with the concept of "epistemological reflexivity" employed by BORG By now, it is accepted also as a quality criterion in qualitative research—especially in ethnology.

A considerable number of methodological proposals as to how such reflection can be fostered have already been made. To a certain extent, research with partners to whom the rituals of academic research are alien and unfamiliar—which is frequently the case in participatory research—calls for new methods of data collection.

The question of the "appropriateness of the method to the participants" is particularly relevant here. From a methodological perspective, the involvement of field partners as co-researchers in the data collection process has various advantages and disadvantages, each of which must be carefully considered. One major advantage is that the co-researchers have first-hand knowledge of the field. Therefore, they understand the way people think and may be able to obtain better and faster access to the desired informants.

This facilitates the discovery of "natural codes"—in the grounded theory sense of the word. Methods of data collection should therefore build on the participants' everyday experiences. This makes it easier for them to understand the concrete procedures. However, it means that new methods of data collection must be developed that are appropriate to the concrete research situation and the research partners.

The range of methods to be found in the literature is very broad and depends greatly on the research field and the research partners in question. In our view, therefore, it makes little sense to standardize methods of data collection. Rather, it is necessary to follow the Glaserian dictum: It should also be remembered that, while many people from marginalized groups may have limited verbal communication skills, they have developed other communication strategies. In recent years, the many possibilities of using visual and performative methods of data collection and representation have been discussed in qualitative social research.

These procedures have been documented, for example, in three thematic issues of FQS devoted to 1. It is therefore not necessary to go into detail here. However, we would stress the point made by RATH that, when choosing methods, the previous experiences of the research partners should be specifically addressed. It can be difficult for people who have never had anything to do with research to understand the various methodological procedures.

Therefore, special training programs are needed to enable them to carry out the procedures applied within the framework of the project. Hella von UNGER reports, for example, that capacity building on the part of research partners represents a core aim in community-based participatory research. It is interesting that, in this way, the participants develop not only specialized competencies required for participation in the research process, but also more general competencies, all of which contribute to personal development.

Despite the aforementioned diversity of data collection methods in participatory research, two procedures appear to be applied very frequently, namely interviews and focus groups. We shall now address certain aspects of these two procedures that are particularly visible in the participative approach but are not often mentioned in discussions on qualitative methods. The interviews conducted within the framework of participatory research are normally semi-structured—a type frequently used in qualitative research.

Experience has shown that, after appropriate training, the various research partners are well able to conduct these interviews—generally in teams of two. In the participatory research situation, it can be clearly seen that the outcome of an interview must be perceived as a situation-dependent co-construction on the part of the interview partners see McCARTAN et al. This has already been discussed in the qualitative research literature. The author does not perceive communication between two partners as a dyad, but rather as part of a much larger system of communication.

She adapts Haley's system of communication as follows: I the sender , 2. In our view, these considerations are of considerable relevance to participatory research because, here, the virtual presence of the participating community must always be borne in mind.

RATH incorporates this notion into her study, although she derives it from a different theoretical background. In view of the imagined listeners, she contends that an interview is not purely a private conversation between the interview partners, but that it is, in a sense, public. The second instrument that is frequently used within the framework of participatory research is the focus group.

This label stands for a lot of different procedures. The common denominator is that a group of different types of research participants is formed, and that these participants are given the opportunity to enter into conversation with each other in a safe setting and to deal with aspects of the project.

It can be said that the focus group is one of the key instruments for the creation of a "communicative space" see Subsection 3. In the best case, all relevant issues are discussed. This open dialog becomes the central starting point for the entire participatory research enterprise.

However, focus groups can also assume other tasks. For example, if participants do not hail from the same context, focus groups offer them an opportunity to get to know each other RUSSO, Moreover, together with other methods of data collection, focus groups can make a taboo theme known in the community and "get things moving" there v.

In teams of professionals, they can facilitate frank exchanges between the team members BORG et al. They also frequently serve to collect data because in the open and—ideally—relaxed atmosphere, it is easier to address taboo themes v. This applies particularly to participatory research because it ensures that the various perspectives flow into the interpretation during the data analysis process and that the research partners gain an insight into the background to their own viewpoints and that of the other members.

It is not surprising, therefore, that a number of authors in the present special issue report that data were analyzed in focus groups together with the research partners BORG et al. For similar reasons, the research findings are also discussed in focus groups. RUSSO points out that it is possible to validate findings communicatively in focus groups and that other effects can be observed at the same time: Hence focus groups can be considered as an instrument that encourages this process of appropriation.

The representation of participatory research findings also has a number of distinctive features. Above all, the multi-perspectivity and multivocality must be preserved in the representation of the results v.

In traditional academic writing, authors stay in the background. It is considered somewhat unscientific to write a text in the first person. Indeed, in some cases, authors consistently refer to themselves in the third person. The required distance is symbolized by this third person, and the impression is given that the statements made are "objective. As a rule, the texts aspire to be unequivocal and to follow scientific logic. In participatory research, by contrast, the various contributions to the results must be clearly visible.

In their publication, all participants in the study were given a chance to voice their opinions and positions. In the present issue, RATH takes a more radical step.

While they are legalistic in their genesis, they are usually based on interpersonal relationships and a history of trust rather than the language of legal forms and contracts. Another implication of PAR ethics is that partners must protect themselves and each other against potential risks, by mitigating the negative consequences of their collaborative work and pursuing the welfare of all parties concerned. This does not preclude battles against dominant interests.

Given their commitment to social justice and transformative action, some PAR projects may be critical of existing social structures and struggle against the policies and interests of individuals, groups and institutions accountable for their actions, creating circumstances of danger.

On the matter of welfare, empowerment through recognition and 'being heard' may be more important to the research than are privacy and confidentiality. It is important to strike a balance between allowing privacy and confidentiality, and respect for individuals and groups who wish to be heard and identified for their contribution to research. The former may be hard to reconcile with PAR. The latter can be shown through proper quoting, acknowledgements, co-authorship, or the granting of intellectual property rights.

By definition, PAR is always a step into the unknown, raising new questions and creating new risks over time. Given its emergent properties and responsiveness to social context and needs, PAR cannot limit discussions and decisions about ethics to the design and proposal phase. Norms of ethical conduct and their implications may have to be revisited as the project unfolds. PAR offers a long history of experimentation with evidence-based and people-based inquiry, a groundbreaking alternative to mainstream positive science.

As with positivism, the approach creates many challenges [] as well as debates on what counts as participation, action and research.

Differences in theoretical commitments Lewinian, Habermasian, Freirean, psychoanalytic, feminist, etc. Ways to better answer questions pertaining to PAR's relationship with science and social history are nonetheless key to its future.

One critical question concerns the problem-solving orientation of engaged inquiry—the rational means-ends focus of most PAR experiments as they affect organizational performance or material livelihoods, for instance. In the clinical perspective of French psychosociology, a pragmatic orientation to inquiry neglects forms of understanding and consciousness that are not strictly instrumental and rational.

Another issue, more widely debated, is scale—how to address broad-based systems of power and issues of complexity , especially those of another development on a global scale. By keeping things closely tied to local group dynamics , PAR runs the risk of substituting small-scale participation for genuine democracy and fails to develop strategies for social transformation on all levels. Cooptation can lead to highly manipulated outcomes.

The role of science and scholarship in PAR is another source of difference. While more clinically oriented, psychosociology in France also emphasizes the distinctive role of formal research and academic work, beyond problem solving in specific contexts.

Given their emphasis on pluralism and living knowledge, many practitioners of grassroots inquiry are critical of grand theory and advanced methods for collaborative inquiry, to the point of abandoning the word "research" altogether, as in participatory action learning.

Others equate research with any involvement in reflexive practice aimed at assessing problems and evaluating project or program results against group expectations. As a result, inquiry methods tend to be soft and theory remains absent or underdeveloped. Practical and theoretical efforts to overcome this ambivalence towards scholarly activity are nonetheless emerging. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Participative Inquiry and Practice. New Roles for Sociology in the Postdisciplinary Age.

Creating and Evolving Methods for Participatory Development. Practical Action, Warwickshire, UK. Research into the Human Condition.

Connecting People, Participation and Places. Learning to do it by doing it", in Hall, B. Conversations on Education and Social Change. Temple University Press, Philadelphia. A Personal Reflection", Convergence , vol 14, no 3, pp. Revisiting the Roots , Mosaic, New Delhi. Between Scholarship and Practice", in S. Lawler eds , Useful Research: Selected Papers on Group Dynamics. Harper and Row, NY. His Classic Writings on Management. Concepts, Methods and Skills for Research and Intervention.

The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership. Based on the Competing Values Framework. Bradbury eds "Handbook of Action Research: British Medical Journal , vol I, pp. Navridis eds L'aventure psychosociologique. Levy, E, Guattari, G. Scenario Planning as a Tool for a Better Tomorrow. Oxford University Press, Oxford. A Sourcebook , 3 vols. Four Cases" Archived at the Wayback Machine. The Key to Adoption of Forage Technologies. The Impacts of Participatory Watershed Management. A Training Package , Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Participatory Research in the United States and Canada. Patil Fighting Eviction: Katkari Land Rights and Research-in-Action. Technology, Governance, Globalization , vol 1, no 3, pp.

A teacher's guide to community-based economics. Highlander Center, Knoxville, Tenn. Une nouvelle approche de la gestion des ressources et des territoires". An Action Research Approach. Essays on the poverty of food policy and the wealth of the social landscape. Putting the Last First. World Development , vol 22, no 9, pp. Education, Knowledge and Action Research. Bridging Service and Research". Information Age, Charlotte, NC.

Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA. A Tool for Complex Times. Deakin University Press, Victoria, Australia. Lincoln eds Handbook of Qualitative Research 2nd ed. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston. How Professional Think in Action. A Guide for Practitioners. Qualitative Action Research at a Community Hospital". Health Communication , vol 19, no 3, pp.

From Process to Outcomes. March " Photovoice: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine". Women's Ways of Knowing. Action Research , vol 1, no 1, pp. University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A Handbook of Interpretive and Participatory Methods.

Disconnected and Doing it All. Vrancken eds La sociologie et l'intervention: De Boeke, Bruxelles, pp. Deliberative Democracy and American National Government. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Pettit eds The Good Polity: Normative Analysis of the State. Organizing to Change a City. Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes. Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation.

Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans".


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Participatory action research is a form of action research in which professional social researchers operate as full collaborators with members of organizations in studying and transforming those organizations.

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Participatory action research (PAR) differs from most other approaches to public health research because it is based on reflection, data collection, and action that aims to improve health and reduce health inequities through involving the people who, in turn, take actions to improve their own health.

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Definitions, Goals and Principles of Participatory Action Research Definitions There is a dizzying array of definitions of participatory research, just as there is . Participatory Research Methods The challenge is that the views of the most marginalised people are by definition largely absent in public forums, which further excludes them and in turn amplifies the perspectives of the more powerful groups. participatory inquiry, action research, oral testimonies and story collection as a .

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Define participatory research. participatory research synonyms, participatory research pronunciation, participatory research translation, English dictionary definition of participatory research. n. 1. Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles. Related to participatory research. Although there are numerous points of convergence between action research and participatory research, we believe that by identifying the differences between the two approaches one can more accurately define the distinctive features of participatory research (cf. BELL et al., ).