Where Participatory Approaches Meet Pragmatism in Funded (Health) Research: The Challenge of Finding Meaningful Spaces

Tina Cook


The term participatory research is now widely used as a way of categorising research that has moved beyond researching "on" to researching "with" participants. This paper draws attention to some confusions that lie behind such categorisation and the potential impact of those confusions on qualitative participatory research in practice. It illuminates some of the negative effects of "fitting in" to spaces devised by other types of research and highlights the importance of forging spaces for presenting participatory research designs that suit a discursive approach and that allow the quality and impact of such research to be recognised. The main contention is that the adoption of a variety of approaches and purposes is part of the strength of participatory research but that to date the paradigm has not been sufficiently articulated. Clarifying the unifying features of the participatory paradigm and shaping appropriate ways for critique could support the embedding of participatory research into research environments, funding schemes and administration in a way that better reflects the nature and purpose of authentic involvement.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1201187


participatory research; authentic involvement; user involvement; transformational; judging

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-13.1.1783

Copyright (c) 2012 Tina Cook

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