Historical Research

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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Action Research  “A model

for enacting local, actionoriented approaches of investigating” (Berg)  A research framework used to… Produce

useful knowledge through research, education, and sociopolitical action Enlighten and empower the average person in a group Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Origins of Action Research Kurt Lewin first used the term “action research” in 1946 to describe “research leading to social action” that uses “a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action”  Criticized as having an intrinsically political nature.  “Participation is empowerment and empowerment is politics” (Berger) 

Participatory Action Research in the Community Increasing use of action research methods to perform community based research (CBR)  Rationale: 

 Perceived

academic-community disconnect  Criticism of overly narrowly defined research by academia  Perceived need for students to develop civic capacity and democratic citizenship

Community Based Research (CBR) Can have a local, regional, national or global focus  Using action research in communities is a way of combining academic knowledge with praxis with the goal of social and economic justice for all 

Praxis From the Greek praxis (refers to work performed by free men)  Aristotle: three types of activity and related knowledge in life: 

 theoria

(the theoretical pursuit of truth)  poiesis (with the goal of making things and production)  praxis (with the end goal of action)

Karl Marx and Praxis In Communist Manifesto (Marx, 1848), noted need for working class (proletariat) to overcome false consciousness  to develop class consciousness and move from being “class-in-itself” to become “class-for-itself”  Achieved through praxis = knowledge and research should inform one’s action (Marx, Theses on Feuerbach 1845) 

Action Research in the Community 

Has become popular method for teaching community members (esp. in low income areas) to explore, challenge, and react to own needs Paulo Freire advocated community controlled social change in Brazil. Freire (1990) wrote,  "The

silenced are not just incidental to the curiosity of the researcher but are the masters of inquiry into the underlying causes of the events in their world. In this context research becomes a means of moving them beyond silence into a quest to proclaim the world.”

Orlando Fals-Borda organized PAR conferences for researchers in Colombia to teach them how to collaborate with and empower members of peasant groups in creating their own forms of social change.

CBR Principles 

Research should:  1.

be a collaborative enterprise  2. validate multiple sources of knowledge and employ mixed methods  3. have the goals of social action and social change in order to achieve social justice

The Research Process  Identify

the research questions  Gather the information to answer the questions  Analyze and interpret the information  Share the results with the participants  In participatory-action research and CBR, the participants are active collaborators Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2009

Berg’s Basics  Looking Gathering

information, identifying stakeholders

 Thinking Making

interpretations, analyzing collected data

 Action Application

of results to improve lives of stakeholders

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Guiding Questions of Analysis  Why? Establishes

a general focus for the investigator and stakeholders

 What Help

 Who,

and How? to establish the problem issues

Where, and When?


actors, events, and activities Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2009

The Action Researcher’s Role  Holistic Collaboration

with local practitioners Collaboration with local stakeholders

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Berg’s Types of Action Research  Technical/Scientific/Collaborative Testing

interventions based on a theoretical framework Researcher collaborates with practitioner Practitioner facilitates implementation

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Types (cont.)  Practical/Mutual

Collaborative/Deliberate Researcher

and practitioner collaboration

 Mutual

identification of problems, causes, and interventions


and emancipating

stakeholders Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Types (cont.)  Emancipating

or Empowering/Enhancing/Critical Science Apply

theory and book knowledge to the real world Raise collective consciousness of practitioners Promote change Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Photovoice  Subjects

themselves photograph certain aspects of their lives Can

empower and enable reflection Encourages dialogue and knowledge transfer Allows sharing of perceptions of those not in control with those in control Can be key to giving members of disenfranchised groups a voice Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Methods of Photovoice  Selecting



photographs most accurately reflect the issues?

 Contextualizing Offer


accounts about photographs

 Codifying Identify

central issues, themes or theories Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Photovoice Projects  Photovoice.ca Women’s

Journey Urban-Rural Process Nya:Weh: Our Stories Our Way

Historical Research  To

understand the historical nature of phenomena, events, people, agencies and institutions

 Historiography systematic

reconstruction of the past Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Value of Historical Research    

It throws light on present and future trends. It enables understanding of and solutions to contemporary problems to be sought in the past. It can illuminate the effects of key interactions within a culture or sub-culture. It allows for the revaluation of data in relation to selected hypotheses, theories and generalizations that are presently held about the past and the present.

Data Sources  Primary



or written testimony of eyewitnesses Documents, photographs, recordings, diaries

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Data Sources  Secondary



or written testimony of people not immediately present Oral histories Newspaper stories, textbooks

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Data Sources  Tertiary



or collection of primary or secondary sources Almanacs, biographies, encyclopedias

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Steps in Historical Research  Identify

an idea  Conduct a literature review  Refine the research questions  Select historiography  Identify primary and secondary sources  Confirm authenticity and accuracy  Analyze the data Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Evaluating Primary Sources  External



wrote the source? What was the intended audience? Historical context?  Internal



does it mean? Why was it written? Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Oral History  To

collect real-life experiences and stories from individuals about their pasts  Gives narrative access to real-life experiences and memories  Uses depth or intensive interviewing  Necessitates good interviewing skill  Oral history interviewing is valuable for history, anthropology, and folklore.

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Oral History (cont.)  Gathers

data not available in written records about events, people, decisions, and processes.  Can show how individual values and actions shaped the past, and how the past shapes present-day values and actions.  Methodological problem:  Grounded

in memory, and memory is a subjective instrument for recording the past, always shaped by the present moment and the individual psyche.

Why Collect Oral Histories? 

Listen to Alice Nixon Cooper (104 years old) and her recollections of the American south and “the Jim Crow days”

Case Study Approach Provides a “holistic description and explanation” (Berg)  Research skills needed: Inquiring mind Ability to listen Adaptability and flexibility Understanding of the issues Unbiased interpretation of data 

Types of Case Studies  Intrinsic—better

understanding of a

particular case  Instrumental—focus on single issue or concern  Collective—extensive study of several instrumental cases

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

The design can be…  Exploratory

as a prelude to a large social scientific study  Explanatory as in causal studies  Descriptive to establish an overall description and framework

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

The Organizational Case Study  Systematic

information gathering  Can use grounded theory approach  Insight into the life of the organization Relationships,

behaviors, attitudes, motivations, stressors

Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Community Case Study  Geographically

delineated unit of

larger society  Provides awareness of community occurrences Why

and how things occur

 Interest

groups  Social Classes  Can use participatory action research Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

Case Study Example 

A Case Study of Organizational Stress in Elite Sport (Woodman and Hardy, 2001)  Case

study performed in Wales of 15 elite athletes using standardized interviews  This study uses content analysis and grounded theory to analyze data

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