The Making of a Participatory Action Researcher

  • Isaac Prilleltensky
  • Geoffrey Nelson


The type of research that we advocate in this chapter is not focused on the creation of ‘knowledge for knowledge’s sake’. We believe that research that claims to be value-neutral and objective runs the risk of reinforcing the societal status quo (Prilleltensky, 1994). Rather, we are concerned with research that advances knowledge that helps to create social change for the benefit of marginalized people (Kirby and McKenna, 1989; Nelson, Ochocka et al., 1998). People who are poor and disempowered are rarely the beneficiaries of research. That is to say, research is done ‘on’ disadvantaged people, not ‘with them’. Research should benefit not just researchers, but also those who remain silent through the process of research priority-setting. In this chapter, we begin with a description of research that reflects the values and concepts of the critical psychology approach that we set forth in Part I. Next, we describe how to conduct such research. We end the chapter with a discussion of training strategies for this type of research.


Participatory Action Research Power Imbalance Feminist Research Disadvantaged People Oppressed Group 
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Copyright information

© Isaac Prilleltensky and Geoffrey Nelson 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isaac Prilleltensky
  • Geoffrey Nelson

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