Critical Subjects: Participatory Research needs to Make Room for Debate

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Koskinen, Inkeri
conference paper description
Participatory research in anthropology attempts to turn informants into collaborators, even colleagues. Researchers generally accept the idea of different knowledge systems, and the practice of avoiding critical appraisal of alien knowledge systems, common in ethnography, is continued within participatory research. However, if the aim of participatory research is to turn informants into collaborators, or ideally colleagues, the ethical imperative of offering constructive criticism to colleagues should apply to them, too, even if they are seen as representing different knowledge systems than the researchers. Avoiding appraisal of alien knowledge systems is problematic when the knowledge systems of the researcher and the researched are in constant contact.