More Participation Within Reconstructive Research: Explanation Videos as Introduction Into Research With the Documentary Method
Taking the documentary method as our example, we present the concept and use of explanation videos in easy language. The videos are suitable used for academic teaching and research as a low-threshold pathway towards reconstructive thinking especially for persons without any previous research experience. This approach is rooted in our observation that meaningful participation in complex qualitative research is not possible without some rudimentary understanding of the logic of reconstructive reasoning and research. Our starting-point for developing these videos was a recent, partially but not strictly participatory research project about inclusive adult education. The documentary method was used for analyzing the social praxis and habitual formations in a specific inclusive setting in higher education. In this context, it was crucial that all members of our participatory research group understood how we arrived at our findings. To achieve this, it was necessary that we introduce the documentary method in an accessible and meaningful format in non-academic language. In this article we explain the didactic reasons for the composition and script of the videos. From a methodological perspective, we further reflect upon the relationship between reconstructive research as a genuine methodological position and participatory research as a mode or a style of doing research. In our conclusion we argue in favor of taking a more strongly participatory approach within reconstructive research methods and projects, especially within the documentary method, not only for ethical reasons but also with a view to its epistemic potential.
Copyright (c) 2022 Matthias Otten, Sebastian Hempel
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