Conflicting demands and the power of defensive routines in participatory action research

Published on Dec 1, 2010in Action Research
· DOI :10.1177/1476750310366041
Gabriele Belschak-Jacobs14
Estimated H-index: 14
Participation has been of ongoing interest in the field of action research and the New Health Promotion movement, but it is not without tensions and problems. This article presents the challenge of containing the conflicting demands of personal empowerment, practical advancement and theory building in a community-based participatory action research project ‘Aspiring to Healthy Living in The Netherlands’. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology was chosen because of its contribution to empowerment of the community of older people, which was one of the project goals. Besides that, the project aimed at the development of an intervention program for encouraging healthy living amongst older people in The Netherlands and contributing to the knowledge base on healthy living, by analyzing narratives from the participants. However, when time pressure rose, the empowerment goal started to collide with academic and practical aims, and the dialogue within the project team became obstructed leading to a retu...
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