Chapter

Researching user-led organisations

Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer

in Independent futures

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9781861347183
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302599 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347183.003.0004
Researching user-led organisations

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This chapter begins with a review of disability theorists' criticism of traditional ways of researching disability, particularly its theoretical standpoint and the disempowering role of ‘research experts’. Second, it explores the key features of an alternative approach to conducting disability research in line with a social model framework: what has been termed ‘emancipatory disability research’. This stresses its commitment to the central outcomes of the empowerment of disabled people and political change, while also informing the process of conducting research. However, as explored in the third section, the emphasis on political partiality has often deflected attention away from important debates about the choice of methodology and methods and their implementation when undertaking disability research. The final section describes the Creating Independent Futures project on user-controlled organizations. It covers the overall research strategy and design, including the main data sources, sampling, data collection and dissemination techniques.

Keywords: disability research; emancipatory disability research; empowerment; disabled people; Creating Independent Futures project; user-controlled organizations

Chapter.  6542 words. 

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