The Ethics of Participatory Action Research on Poverty

This article is based on an international webinar entitled “The Ethics of Research on Poverty” that was held in April 2018 as a follow up of the 2017 Cerisy Symposium “Rethinking Our World from the Perspective of Poverty — with Joseph Wresinski.

Stacy Randell-Shaheen, USA (director, Adult Learning Center in Massachusetts); Bonita Bennett, South Africa (director, District Six Museum in Cape Town); Donna Haig Friedman, USA (former director, Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston); and Bruno Tardieu, France (director, Joseph Wresinski Centre for archives and research, ATD Fourth World ) decided to deepen together the ethical and epistemological issues of participatory action research on poverty.

The article asserts that participatory action research (PAR) on poverty needs specific ethical guidelines in addition to the general ethical principles of PAR. It explores risks such as narratives or questions imposed upon people, unintended symbolic violence, and the soft bigotry of low expectations, and describes best ways to bridge the gap between researchers and people in poverty to produce renewed knowledge.

Read the full article (opens pdf).


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