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Empowering Dialogues: A Way to Democratise Knowledge Production?
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Norrköpings kommuns fou-enhet.
2016 (English)In: Action Research for Democracy: New Ideas and Perspectives from Scandinavia / [ed] Ewa Gunnarsson, Hans Peter Hansen, Birger Steen Nielsen, Nadarajah Sriskandarajah, New York: Routledge, 2016, 1, 75-89 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter explores the use of dialogues as a research method to create democratic settings for knowledge production. Action Research could be understood as a specific form of democracy, namely deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy focuses on ways in which opinions and definitions of problems and solutions are produced through dialogues, which should be characterised by a willingness to understand each other's arguments. This requires participants to have the ability to clarify and justify their opinions. In the chapter we draw on this specific understanding of democracy and discuss how different kinds of dialogues were used in a research and development project. The dialogues consisted of both occasional and regular meetings over time and had different purposes. We call these dialogues empowering dialogues since they contributed, in different ways, to building up participants’ capacities to empower themselves.

The use of a democratic setting for knowledge production in the project resulted in development of a different kind of knowledge that was more socially robust, making visible a wider range of voices and perspectives than what would have been produced without the dialogues. Another result of the project was that the researcher and the participants together identified and presented concrete proposals for social change. The chapter describes how dialogues, used as a method, created these results and problematises the conditions and opportunities for empowering dialogues and democratic settings in Action Research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2016, 1. 75-89 p.
, Routledge Advances in Research Methods
Keyword [en]
Empowering dialogues, Deliberative democracy, Action Research, Interactive Research, Knowledge Production
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122251ISBN: 978-1-138-96122-7 (hardback)ISBN: 978-1-315-65990-9OAI: diva2:864207
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2015-11-03

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