, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 371–399 | Cite as

Different Roles, Diverse Goals: Understanding Stakeholder and Archaeologists Positions in Community-Based Projects

  • Katie ShakourEmail author
  • Ian Kuijt
  • Tommy Burke


Scholars have discussed the diverse and heterogeneous nature of people that comprise communities in community-based research (McManamon in Am Antiq 56(1):121–130, 1991; Marshall in World Archaeol 34(2):211–219, 2002; Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Ferguson, in Scarre, Scarre, (eds) The ethics of archaeology: philosophical perspectives on archaeological practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 115–130, 2006; Pyburn, in Okamura, Matuda, (eds) New perspectives in global public archaeology, Springer, New York, pp 29–41, 2011: 31). The divisions within stakeholder groups are highly complex and merit more discussions. By considering community interests and needs, as well as that of different stakeholders, on a case-by-case basis we break down the term community to demonstrate a need for localized approaches to community-based research. Further we discuss some of the differential relationships within community archaeology and roles dictated by legislative requirements and other necessities. Through a community-based research project case study on Inishark and Inishbofin, County Galway Ireland, islands about five miles into the Atlantic Ocean, we explore the different stakeholder groups that comprise island community and the important role archaeologists play in the community-based research.

Key Words

Ireland Stakeholder roles Community archaeology Community-based research 


Les chercheurs se sont penchés sur la nature diverse et hétérogène des populations composant les communautés dans le cadre de la recherche communautaire (McManamon 1991; Marshall 2002: 216; Colwell-Chanthaphonh et Ferguson 2006; Pyburn 2011: 31). Les divisions au sein des groupes de parties prenantes sont extrêmement complexes et méritent de plus amples discussions. En prenant en compte les intérêts et besoins d’une communauté, ainsi que ceux de différentes parties prenantes sur une base au cas par cas, nous analysons le terme de communauté afin de démontrer la nécessité d’approches localisées à l’appui d’une recherche communautaire. Nous discutons par ailleurs de certaines des relations différentielles au sein de l’archéologie communautaire et des rôles imposés par les exigences législatives et d’autres impératifs. Par le biais d’une étude de cas pour un projet de recherche communautaire situé à Inishark et Inishbofin, dans le comté de Galway en Irlande, qui sont des îles se trouvant à environ huit kilomètres au large de l’Océan Atlantique, nous explorons les différents groupes de parties prenantes composant la communauté insulaire et le rôle important assumé par les archéologues dans la recherche communautaire.


Los académicos han discutido la naturaleza diversa y heterogénea de las personas que comprenden comunidades en la investigación basada en la comunidad (McManamon 1991; Marshall 2002: 216; Colwell-Chanthaphonh y Ferguson 2006; Pyburn 2011: 31). Las divisiones dentro de los grupos de partes interesadas son muy complejas y merecen más discusión. Al considerar los intereses y necesidades de la comunidad, así como los de los diferentes interesados, caso por caso, desglosamos el término comunidad para demostrar la necesidad de enfoques localizados para la investigación basada en la comunidad. Además, discutimos algunas de las relaciones diferenciales dentro de la arqueología comunitaria y los roles dictados por los requisitos legislativos y otras necesidades. A través de un estudio de caso de un proyecto de investigación basado en la comunidad en Inishark e Inishbofin, en el condado de Galway, Irlanda, que son islas a unas cinco millas mar adentro del Océano Atlántico, exploramos los diferentes grupos de partes interesadas que comprenden la comunidad isleña y el importante papel que juegan los arqueólogos en la investigación basada en la comunidad.



We would like to thank Meredith Chesson and Bonnie Clark for organizing the conference session that prompted this article. Additionally, we thank Audrey Horning for her insightful comments during the writing of this article. Finally, we thank the people of Inishark and Inishbofin, especially the Murray, Lacey, Burke, Prendergast, Coyne, Concannon, Gavin, Day, Lavelle, and Halloran families. They have shared their islands and heritage with us, and this project would not be possible without their support.


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Copyright information

© World Archaeological Congress 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anthropology DepartmentUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  3. 3.InishbofinIreland

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