Whose PARty Was This? The Dilemmas of a Participatory Action Research Process of Evaluating a Social Enterprise

  • Jacqueline Lovell
  • Jacqueline Akhurst


Participatory action research aims to reduce power differentials in research. In this chapter we problematise the blurred boundaries when a participant becomes a researcher. We reflect on a PhD undertaken by the first author who was a member of a social enterprise in the UK that provided user-led research and training with a diversity of communities. Experiences of ten members of the collective were gathered through creative arts-based methodologies designed to be inclusive. We describe three tensions that arose when trialling participatory video production, when data analysis could not be undertaken collaboratively, and when reflecting on the solitary nature of PhD thesis writing. We outline the ways these tensions were worked through and explore ways of writing about participatory research in a PhD thesis.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline Lovell
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Akhurst
    • 2
  1. 1.Formerly York St John University now Bath Spa UniversityBathUK
  2. 2.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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