Review Essay: Utopia Made Practical? Action Research Comes of Age


  • Bob Dick Southern Cross University



action research, collaborative research, emergent research, theory, practice, praxis, emancipation, participation, relationships, rigour, anti-reductionism, quality of research


This large and important work gathers together an enormous variety of action research processes, applications and skills in its 45 chapters. Following a useful section of chapter outlines and an introduction by the editors, a section on "Groundings" offers a number of value and epistemological positions. This is followed in turn by three other sections and a conclusion. "Practices" provides descriptions of many of the varieties of action research. "Exemplars" contains case studies. "Skills" offers readers a glimpse of some of the competencies action researchers draw on in their work. The quality of the individual chapters is high. In the introduction and conclusions the editors describe their purpose, identify some themes, and offer a commentary which points towards a way forward for action research. The result is a rich collation of current thinking about a family of action oriented research approaches which is growing in popularity. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0201222


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Author Biography

Bob Dick, Southern Cross University

Bob DICK has a lecturing appointment at Griffith University in Brisbane and adjunct appointments at Southern Cross University and the University of South Australia. His interests include community and organizational change and action research.




How to Cite

Dick, B. (2002). Review Essay: Utopia Made Practical? Action Research Comes of Age. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 3(1).