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Participatory Action Research

Caroline Lenette

2022 Australia

Ethics and Decolonization

Participatory Action Research (PAR) privileges the involvement of participants as co-researchers to generate new knowledge and act on findings to effect social change. In PAR projects, academic researchers collaborate closely with co-researchers, working from the idea that these individuals, especially those who are usually marginalized from institutions, can be engaged in meaningful research activities to achieve social justice outcomes in addition to answering research questions. When deployed ethically in collaboration with co-researchers, PAR’s participatory element facilitates a ‘bottom-up’ approach where knowledge is co-created through grassroots or community-based activities.

This book goes beyond a PAR ‘how to’ manual on the methodology. Rather it synthesizes key learnings in contemporary research, with a distinct focus on the challenging aspects of undertaking PAR in practice and strategies to address these. It provides a clear and user-friendly collection of practical and contextual examples and presents key pointers on the implications of PAR methods, their strengths and weaknesses, and strategies for the field. These examples will be useful for critical class discussions, as well as to anticipate fieldwork pitfalls and pre-empt challenges through collaborative approaches.

Chapter 1: What is Participatory Action Research? Contemporary Methodological Considerations
Chapter 2: Why decolonize? Participatory Action Research’s Origins, Decolonial Research, and Intersectionality
Chapter 3: What does participation entail? Challenges to Genuine Participation in Participatory Action Research
Chapter 4: How do we engage in co-research? Co-Production and Mess
Chapter 5: Participatory Action Research is Ethical, Right? Ethics in Practice and Institutional Ethics
Chapter 6: What of Gender Equality? Feminist Participatory Action Research and Gender Diversity
Chapter 7: How do we influence policy? Challenges to Knowledge Translation