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Participatory Research

Participatory Research
Why and How to Involve People in Research

November 2019 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Going beyond a general introduction to offer a hands-on guide, Participatory Research empowers students to feel confident understanding and applying participatory methods to their research projects.

It takes an accessible approach to explaining the theory that grounds participatory research and offers students practical strategies for how and when to choose and apply a wide range of these methods.

Comprehensive yet easy to understand, this book:

·  Gives students a thorough grounding in the history and theoretical issues surrounding each method

·  Showcases participatory research in action through extensive on-the-ground case studies 

·  Highlights the importance of ethics in research design, offering guidance on dealing with sensitive considerations in participatory research

With a sustained focus on the impact of digital technologies, this book tackles head-on the need to re-assess the way we involve people in contemporary research. It is an essential guide to better research practice for students and researchers across the social sciences.


Part I: History, Theory and Ethics of Participatory Methods
Chapter 1: The History and Nature of Participatory Research Methods
Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives on Participatory Research
Chapter 3: Approaches and Populations in Participatory Research
Chapter 4: Research Ethics in Participatory Research Practice
Part II: Applications of Participatory Methods
Chapter 5: Participatory Action Research (PAR)
Chapter 6: Participatory Approaches to Participant Observation
Chapter 7: Group Discussion Methods in Participatory Research
Chapter 8: Participatory Survey Methods
In Conclusion

One unique feature of this text is the way it richly lays out how theory and practice can (and do!) come together in participatory research. It is chock full of case studies, examples and exercises to help the material come alive and engage learners in reflexive praxis.

Sarah Flicker
York University

This book is a highly important and timely contribution to the field of research methods. It provides the reader with various approaches, illustrates their applications and is of great value to any student, researcher or practitioner interested in participatory research methods.

Ingvill C. Mochmann
GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and Cologne Business School

This book offers students a secure introduction to participatory research: origins, theory, methods and most importantly ethics, including the specificity of situated ethics within a participatory design. Students are provided with practical strategies to help navigate participatory research projects.

Niamh O’Brien
Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University

Dirk Schubotz's book is impressive. He reveals theoretical, historical and ethical backgrounds of participatory approaches to research and his book is also useful in terms of practice. You can feel the author's strong empirical background involving children and young people as subjects in research projects. A strong parol for understanding research as practice of mutual understanding, collective action and social change.

Timo Ackermann
Professor for Social Work and Child Welfare, Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin, University of Applied Sciences

What a fantastic book! Comprehensive in scope, underpinned by important theoretical approaches, a great set of exercises and a deep commitment to the transformative possibilities of PAR! A must for all research students, researchers and transdisciplinary research teams.

Maggie O'Neill
Professor in Sociology & Criminology, University College Cork

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.