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Research Methods Primer Workshop: Participatory Action Research (PAR)
September 22, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
This session was for the Centre for Society and Mental Health. I presented practical suggestions for conducting Participatory Action Research (PAR) with migrant communities and beyond. PAR has the potential to address some of the unequal, and exploitative power dynamics between researchers and participants. However, it can also be what Cooke and Kothali call “tyrannical”, pushing and pressurising people into taking on an unwanted and unpaid responsibilities.
I worked with my PAD co-researchers Milad and Nooshin to deliver this session. We first explained the basics of PAR and then took people through its different challenges around 1) being conscious of the nuances of migrant identities; 2) working in hierarchical organisations; 3) offering a choice of research approach. Each challenge was be introduced with a vignette from their PAR experiences and a related activity around possible ways forward.
Overall, the session provided an introduction to PAR and encouraged participants to consider the practical challenges, advantages and disadvantages of using this method in their research, particularly with migrant communities.