Still left out in the cold : problematising participatory research and development

Hayward, Christopher, Simpson, Lynette, & Wood, Leanne (2004) Still left out in the cold : problematising participatory research and development. Sociologia Ruralis, 44(1), pp. 95-108.

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Participatory approaches to research and development have had relatively little academic or practitioner critique, resulting in a mythologising of the power of participatory methodologies to accomplish problem solving, emancipation or empowerment. Participation is also presented as evidence of social inclusion and is fostered as a strategy to counteract social exclusion. The purpose of this article therefore is to challenge and critique a range of definitions and perspectives of participation in terms of theory and practice. The paper focuses on two issues arising from the participatory literature and our own research experiences with communication technology projects based in rural and remote Queensland, Australia. We propose that non-participation and peripheral participation are valid and legitimate choices exercised by community members that can be seen to be as individually empowering as participation. We also support the view of participation as both the means and the ends of development, a position that reflects the reality of participatory practice as fluid and variable over time. The paper concludes that both theoreticians and practitioners need to recognise and challenge the assumptions that underpin many participatory development projects.

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ID Code: 22894
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2004.00264.x
ISSN: 0038-0199
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 13:28
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 04:49

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