Capturing collective processes of analysis in participatory research: An example from a memory work investigation into how gender and sexual identities are experienced

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Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to offer a detailed explication of collectively enacted analytical and sense-making practices in participatory research. The co-production of knowledge is central to the methodological integrity of participatory research, but capturing the shared and collaborative processes through which meaning is made; particularly the analytical practices, can be difficult to untangle. A participatory project that employed memory work techniques is presented to illustrate and examine these dynamic processes 'in action'. Three issues that merit careful consideration in enacting collective analytical practices are identified and discussed; firstly the negotiation of tension between forms of organic and more structured forms of analytical exploration, secondly reflexive engagement with power relationships and diversity in making sense of data, and finally addressing the utility of the analysis as an important aspect of participatory work. The paper contributes to an ongoing conversation concerning the challenges and possibilities for collaborative knowledge generation in participatory practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 49-61
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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title = "Capturing collective processes of analysis in participatory research: An example from a memory work investigation into how gender and sexual identities are experienced",
abstract = "The purpose of the paper is to offer a detailed explication of collectively enacted analytical and sense-making practices in participatory research. The co-production of knowledge is central to the methodological integrity of participatory research, but capturing the shared and collaborative processes through which meaning is made; particularly the analytical practices, can be difficult to untangle. A participatory project that employed memory work techniques is presented to illustrate and examine these dynamic processes 'in action'. Three issues that merit careful consideration in enacting collective analytical practices are identified and discussed; firstly the negotiation of tension between forms of organic and more structured forms of analytical exploration, secondly reflexive engagement with power relationships and diversity in making sense of data, and finally addressing the utility of the analysis as an important aspect of participatory work. The paper contributes to an ongoing conversation concerning the challenges and possibilities for collaborative knowledge generation in participatory practices.",
keywords = "Collaborative practices, Community psychology, Memory work, Participatory research, Qualitative data analysis",
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AB - The purpose of the paper is to offer a detailed explication of collectively enacted analytical and sense-making practices in participatory research. The co-production of knowledge is central to the methodological integrity of participatory research, but capturing the shared and collaborative processes through which meaning is made; particularly the analytical practices, can be difficult to untangle. A participatory project that employed memory work techniques is presented to illustrate and examine these dynamic processes 'in action'. Three issues that merit careful consideration in enacting collective analytical practices are identified and discussed; firstly the negotiation of tension between forms of organic and more structured forms of analytical exploration, secondly reflexive engagement with power relationships and diversity in making sense of data, and finally addressing the utility of the analysis as an important aspect of participatory work. The paper contributes to an ongoing conversation concerning the challenges and possibilities for collaborative knowledge generation in participatory practices.

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