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ERIC Number: EJ1132214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0965-0792
Participatory Action Research in Culturally Complex Societies: Opportunities and Challenges
Balakrishnan, Vishalache; Claiborne, Lise
Educational Action Research, v25 n2 p185-202 2017
One of the aims of participatory action research (PAR) is to bring realities of lives closer together through dialogue and "conscientization," raising critical awareness among participants from all backgrounds. Promoting participation often assumes a power shift from the decision-makers to the majority of society, who can be the end-receivers of decisions made. Once some kind of awareness is achieved, the participants should be able to challenge the causes of their perceived oppression, or resolve the suffering that is endured, if that is what they hope to achieve. However, the situation is more complex in many contemporary societies, in which there are not only differing cultural beliefs related to religion, but different ontologies about being and living in the world. There is much contemporary debate about the possibilities of critique that take on board divergent sociomaterial realities within the same classroom. Practical and structural differences can pose challenges to conducting PAR research. In this article, we address the distinctive nature of PAR in relation to a culturally diverse group of participants. We argue that research using a PAR framework can result in subtle ethical challenges, which also provide insights for opportunities and strategies. Drawing from the authors' experiences in multicultural education and working with culturally diverse youth and postgraduate students, opportunities and challenges of applying a PAR approach are discussed. We conclude with the suggestion that PAR remains consistent with its original transformative goals, but also remain open to further explorations of activism that address pressing contemporary concerns within culturally complex societies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A