Is Participatory Action Research Relevant in the Canadian Workplace?

Candy Khan, Donna Chovanec


Participatory Action Research (PAR), with its emphasis on grassroots empowerment and local control, has a long history as the research method of choice for marginalized communities. However, unsettling questions remain about the nature of power and the promise of PAR as a truly participatory and empowering methodology. In this paper, we summarize the key theorists, principles, methodology, researcher’s role, strengths and limitations of traditional PAR. In the subsequent section, we review current critiques and revisions of PAR. Finally, Khan proposes an adjustment to PAR that reflects the strengths and limitations of PAR and the implications of applying PAR within the bounds of a capitalist social-economic structure.

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