Chapter

Projects through partnership: promoting participatory values throughout the research process

Robert Kirkwood

in Critical Perspectives on User Involvement

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427519
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305590 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427519.003.0016
Projects through partnership: promoting participatory values throughout the research process

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This chapter takes a critical and personal look at participatory action research approaches and specifically describes a participatory research project undertaken with a group of deaf or hearing-impaired young people attending mainstream schools. Due to both their hearing loss and their legal standing as minors, these young people sit within a population that are politically classified as a vulnerable group. This group are at increased risk of experiencing mental and emotional problems compared with their hearing peers. However, their voice is seldom heard. The chapter outlines how the project sought to support its participants to explore both their personal and collective identities from a position of partnership that recognised the need to address the presuppositions and hidden agendas which were brought to the project, potentially undermining its participatory spirit. The chapter discusses the project's limitations and those of participatory action research methods as a whole. It questions whether authentic research partnerships can be achieved when the research has not been instigated by groups such as these young people themselves.

Keywords: participatory action research; deaf; hearing impaired; young people; vulnerability

Chapter.  4631 words. 

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