Beyond the binary of researcher/researched: the complexities of participatory action research

Hawkins, Karen (2011) Beyond the binary of researcher/researched: the complexities of participatory action research. In: Beyond binaries in education research. Routledge Research in Education. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), New York, USA, pp. 147-160. ISBN 978-0-415-88512-6


This chapter explores the binaries of researcher/researched and, to a certain extent, objectivity/subjectivity by outlining a participatory action research (PAR) project situated in early childhood contexts. To do this it
delves deeply into the project's methodological concepts and therefore may be considered a conceptual chapter. The background and justification as to why PAR was the design of choice for this project are offered.

It is argued that action research, while overlapping significantly with the qualitative paradigm, has distinct differences in the way in which action researchers work with others and that the distinction between researcher
and participants becomes blurred during the collaborative relationship. The chapter highlights that this study was carried out with and by, as opposed to on, participants and so it bypassed the traditional division between
researcher and researched. Although PAR is considered a socially just mode of inquiry, it is not without its tensions, complexities, and challenges, which
the chapter explains.

However, it also puts forward strategies that the study adopted to address these tensions, complexities, and challenges. It offers strategies to assist the facilitator of a PAR project; strategies to assist coresearchers form a coherent PAR team; and strategies to assist the PAR team forge ahead and address the complex web of power and privilege. These strategies go a long way in confronting and addressing the binary of researcher/researched.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 19767
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 11. Permanent restricted access to paper due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2011 05:53
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2017 01:36
Uncontrolled Keywords: education research; research; researcher; participatory action research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only