Between idealism and reality: Meeting the challenges of participatory action research
Vance Jensen, Russell
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Participatory action research (PAR) is a methodological stance that researchers can find both inspiring and daunting. Community-based PAR offers a platform by which social scientists can contribute to the democratization of knowledge and its production, but also requires that they go beyond conventional roles and procedures to interact with community co-researchers in ways that may leave university-based researchers feeling exposed and rudderless. In this article, the authors present episodes from three different PAR projects that illustrate some of the challenges that PAR presents for university based researchers, as well as what can be learned from them.