The Urban Review

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 85–105 | Cite as

The False Paths, the Endless Labors, the Turns Now This Way and Now That: Participatory Action Research, Mutual Vulnerability, and the Politics of Inquiry

  • Monique Guishard


Participatory Action Research (PAR) and its many variants are rapidly gaining prominence as viable research tools and methodological alternatives to address histories of exploitation, surveillance, and social exclusion, deeply embedded in mainstream research. However, it is at this transgressive intersection of theory, action, expertise, power, and justice that a host of new challenges to the conduct of research in collaboration with and not just on, or for subordinated people, emerges. This article attempts to intimately describe the challenges of using PAR methods to revise Paulo Freire’s notion of critical consciousness in the context of a parent organizing group and a youth research project, while taking seriously the speed bumps, multiple subjectivities, implicit racism, sexism, classism, and politics of knowledge production that are too often obscured behind published academic writing.


Participatory research Writing Mutual vulnerability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CUNY Graduate Center, Bronx Community CollegeThe City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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