Review: Ernest T. Stringer (2007). Action Research
STRINGER's book on action research provides an accessible introduction to conducting participatory inquiries for social change. This general overview of the theoretical foundations of action research and methodological challenges is enriched by practical examples, insights, and exercises that are based on the author's substantial experience as a researcher and practitioner. Students and teachers will find this a valuable resource for teaching and training. However, STRINGER's positive outlook on humanity and communities and his non-confrontational style of action research ignores some of the "darker" sides of power, knowledge, and the difficulties of achieving sustainable social change. The final chapter and substantial appendices have a strong focus on traditional report writing; more alternative case studies on how to communicate action research may have been useful to balance his more conventional project-management approach. Overall, this is a very good introductory volume that can spark ideas, discussions, and (self-) reflection on how to better link theory and practice.
action research; participatory research; qualitative research methods