Adopting a participatory methodology and post-structural epistemology

Reflections on a research project with young people

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Abstract

This paper discusses the methodological processes of a qualitative PhD research project with young people aged between 12 and 17 years who are the primary carer for a family member with physical or mental health problems. The field work was conducted over 2 years in rural Australia and involved one-on-one discussions with young carers in their family homes. The research was grounded in post-structural epistemology that questioned existing literature and challenged the assumptions of childhood on which it is based. Consequently, it sought to pursue a different approach to young carer research, one that adopted a participatory methodology that positioned the young people as co-researchers. Young people were involved in the design and conduct of the research and the analysis process. This paper critiques the research space, reflecting on what was made possible and what was limited or not fully realised. The paper discusses the tensions between post-structural theory and participatory methodology that reveal limitations to collaboration between adult researchers and young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-482
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Volume28
Issue number6
Early online date20 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 08 Nov 2018

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epistemology
Caregivers
research project
methodology
Research
Research Personnel
Qualitative Research
process analysis
Young Adult
Mental Health
Research Design
family member
qualitative research
mental health
childhood

Cite this

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