The Research Imagination Amid Dilemmas of Engaging Young People in Critical Participatory Work

Audrey M. Dentith, Lynda Measor, Michael P. O'Malley


The article is based on qualitative research conducted in the UK and the USA by three critical social field researchers drawn to work with young people in participative ways. The work was grounded in the researchers' commitments to researching to "make a difference" in the lives of young people. By promoting participant engagement that might affect personal understanding and policy change. The authors discuss their use of and dilemmas of practice using critical research strategies across three separate research projects. The young people in each study face a range of deprivations and life difficulties. The methods draw from perspectives that counter the resurgent logic of positivism that are increasingly favored in contemporary academic research by funding authorities and that reflect the prevailing governing mentalities that thwart critical emancipatory research in this era of post-neoliberalism.



participatory research; critical social inquiry; field strategies; transgression of power; post-neoliberalism

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2012 Audrey M. Dentith, Lynda Measor, Michael P. O'Malley

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.