Participatory Knowledge Co-creation: Using Digital Mapping as an Emancipatory Method

Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


As a range of social, economic and political issues of the twenty-first century challenge us, academics need to rethink not only what we teach and research but how we learn, teach and conduct research. Neoliberal competitive ideals have continued to promote the idea that “elitist knowledge” is better, and provide little self-critique about how mainstream research approaches and pedagogy continue to reproduce social inequality. In this chapter, we argue for participatory knowledge co-creation as a transformative approach. This method emancipates people, allows power shifting and promotes a greater sense of belonging in the community and environment. The case study, the Maribyrnong Maker Map (M3), showcases a collaborative form of action inquiry where a digital mapping application was used to create a maker map. A maker map is a map of the local productive resources in a community. This emerging knowledge space, located both physically and online, offers new potentials for situated problem-solving and engaged participatory research. The chapter also explores the implications of participatory knowledge co-creation for scholars, researchers, practitioners and activists across the disciplines. Building on Reason’s (1998) four participation imperatives—political, ecological, epistemological and spiritual—we propose that participatory knowledge co-creation offers peace psychologists a much needed bridge between academic knowledge, and grounded and relevant relationships with the reality constructed by people in their communities.


Knowledge Participation Mapping Community Digital 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Arts and Education, Victoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Social and Health SciencesUniversity of South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa ViolenceInjury and Peace Research UnitJohannesburgSouth Africa
  4. 4.Center for Cultural Diversity and WellbeingVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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