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Critical Participatory Inquiry

Critical Participatory Inquiry
An Interdisciplinary Guide

August 2023 | 328 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Critical Participatory Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Guide brings to life key principles of this collaborative research method for students, practitioners, and research collectives. The authors encourage readers to uncover new possibilities in research guided by the emancipatory roots of CPI to deconstruct inequitable conditions and practices. Weaving together theoretical perspectives, a variety of tools for data collection and analysis, and numerous practical examples, the authors offer a complete picture of the research process from start to finish. This thoughtful and thorough book prepares readers to co-create knowledge effectively and ethically. By addressing the underlying principles common to a variety of action and participatory research methods, readers learn to design and carry out research with, not on, communities. With examples from public health, social work, psychology, education, criminal justice, conflict resolution, and more, the text is suited to a wide variety of graduate-level courses and better reflects the interdisciplinary nature of participatory research with collectives of all sizes and compositions. 

Chapter 1: Whose Knowledge Counts?
Chapter 2: What is Critical Participatory Inquiry?
Chapter 3: Ethics and Validity in Participatory Inquiry
Chapter 4: Building (on) Relationships
Chapter 5: Getting Started
Chapter 6: Gathering Data and Making Meaning: Making Traditional Approaches More Participatory
Chapter 7: Gathering Data and Making Meaning: Arts-based Approaches
Chapter 8: Gathering Data and Making Meaning: Digital and Multimedia Approaches
Chapter 9: Taking Action
Chapter 10: Staying Committed and in Solidarity

The most thoughtful approach to CPI to date, with lots of nuanced discussion of power, inequality and positionality. The text is replete with examples from community studies using a variety of media.

Samuel Collins
Towson University

The book is solidly grounded in relevant foundational and contemporary research and presents an array of robust, innovative participatory and arts-based methods to engage in collaborative inquiry with a research collective. The book invites researchers into the process and provides a set of reflexive guides and practices with which to conceptualize and implement participatory research in a variety of contexts and spaces.

Heidi R. Bacon
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

This book offers a nuanced and complex look at critical participatory research. The approach of the text offers an insight into how these scholars arrived at the work and how to then do this work from varying perspectives.

Anne M. Hornak
Central Michigan University

I found the practice activities and focus activities very thought-provoking and valuable from a teaching standpoint. Overall, the writing continues to be very accessible.

Julie Steinkopf
New Mexico State University

This is a thought provoking and challenging new way to look at research in the context of social justice.

S. Jay Kuder
Rowan University

This is the first time I have read a comprehensive book chapter covering digital and social media research so succinctly.

The authors provided examples of creative ways to take action with research and sharing findings. I think this message is important in taking action; we can and should disseminate research through multiple avenues.

Nancy A Watkins
Cal State Fullerton

This book introduces Critical Practitioner Inquiry that is user-friendly and socially aware. The authors are well-versed in the literature, but their personal experiences with CPI truly make the book come to life.

The connections to real-world examples were outstanding. The authors did a wonderful job of gaining credibility by sharing their own work as well as work that has been published in the field.

Ryan Flessner
Butler University

I like its flow, the use of a reference list after every chapter. It is rich in content and uses real life examples.

Margaret Lombe
Boston College

The post-colonial and post-structural, dialogic approach makes this pretty unique and helpful.

Louise Jezierski
James Madison College at Michigan State University

The topical coverage feels very unique for a text of this kind. For instance, discussions on power dynamics, creating relational connections, forming inquiry collectives.

The comprehensiveness of the chapter discussions is notable. I also appreciated that this book was unflinching in discussions on the epistemological foundations of CPI and the importance these positions have on the methodology.

Shannon Calderone
Washington State University
Key features
  • This core book covers Critical Participatory Inquiry from theory to action.
  • wide variety of examples from public health, social work, psychology, education, criminal justice, conflict resolution, and more ensure the book reflects a reality that isn't bound by disciplinary divisions.
  • Objectives at the start of each chapter provide guidance for learning the chapter material.
  • Focus Activities at the beginning of each chapter ask readers to contextualize everyday issues in light of CPI.
  • Authors share their experiences and research tips in Recommended Practice Boxes interspersed throughout the chapters.
  • Suggested Activities offer ways for instructors and students to try out their knowledge before engaging in a full research setting.
  • Build your CPI vocabulary with Key Terms to connect with the literature.
  • Find tools and resources with Additional Readings.
  • Three Case Studies in Appendices provide in-depth and inspiring examples of critical participatory inquiry in settings around the world. 

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