Skip to main content

A Community-Based Participatory Mixed-Methods Approach to Multicultural Media Research

  • 300 Accesses


This chapter critically reviews and discusses the methodological approach adopted by the Ottawa Multicultural Media Initiative (OMMI), a team-based, multidisciplinary, and multi-sectoral partnership project, examining the role of Multicultural Media (MCM) in fostering the settlement, integration, and well-being of four immigrant and ethnocultural communities in Ottawa, Canada – Chinese, Spanish-speaking Latin American, Somali, and South Asian. The project was carried out in accordance with key principles of community-based participatory research in the hopes to influence policy and standards and create a community action project for promoting newcomer well-being and inclusion, as these concepts are understood within specific ethnocultural and immigrant communities. To this end, a mixed-methods approach, including surveys, focus groups, media content analysis, and semi-structured interviews, was adopted, and all research instruments were developed in collaboration with multiple local community and municipal stakeholders. While navigating the challenges of participatory research (e.g., time constraints, competing expectations, and reiterative process), significant opportunities emerged to produce grounded and relevant research and policy outcomes that encompass the diverse needs and practices of the communities under study and are embedded within the local multicultural context. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the key insights gained from the OMMI experience that will help to advance more “holistic” approaches to the study of MCM in a variety of contexts for development and social change.


  • Community-based participatory research
  • Ethnocultural
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Immigrant communities
  • Mixed methods
  • Multicultural media
  • Partnership

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  • Ahmed R, Veronis L (2017) Multicultural media use and immigrant settlement: a comparative study of four communities in Ottawa, Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration 18(2):587–612

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Anyaegbunam C, Hoover A, Schwartz M (2010) Use of community-based participatory communication to identify community values at a Superfund site. In: World Environmental And Water Resources Congress 2010: challenges of change. ASCE, San Antonio, pp 381–390

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Blumler JG, Katz E (eds) (1974) The uses of mass communications: current perspectives on gratifications research. Sage, Beverly Hills

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourdieu P (1986) The forms of capital. In: Richardson JG (ed) Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education. Greenwood Press, New York, pp 241–258

    Google Scholar 

  • Brown D, Howes M, Hussein K, Longley C, Swindell K (2002) Participatory methodologies and participatory practices: assessing PRA use in the Gambia. Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Agricultural Research & Extension Network (AgREN), London

    Google Scholar 

  • Creswell J (2014) Research design. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

    Google Scholar 

  • Elliott P (1974) Uses and gratifications research: a critique and a sociological alternative. In: Blumler JG G, Katz E (eds) The uses of mass communications: current perspectives on gratifications research. Sage, Beverly Hills, pp 249–268

    Google Scholar 

  • Gillis A, Jackson W (2002) Research methods for nurses: methods and interpretation. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  • Graybill P, Aggas J, Dean RK, Demers S, Finigan EG, Pollard RQ Jr (2010) A community-participatory approach to adapting survey items for deaf individuals and American Sign Language. Field Methods 22:429–448

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Israel B, Schulz A, Parker E, Becker A (1998) Review of community-based research: assessing partnership approaches to improve public health. Annu Rev Public Health 19:173–202

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kim J (2016) Youth involvement in participatory action research (par): challenges and barriers. Critical Social Work 17(1):38–53

    Google Scholar 

  • Lewin K (1946) Action research and minority problems. Journal of Social Issues 2:34–46.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • MacDonald C (2012) Understanding participatory action research: a qualitative research methodology option. Can J Action Res 13(2):34–50

    Google Scholar 

  • Mays GP, Hogg RA, Castellanos-Cruz DM, Hoover AG, Fowler LC (2013) Public health research implementation and translation: evidence from practice-based research networks. Am J Prev Med 45:752–762

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McTaggart R (1991) Principles for participatory action research. Adult Education Quarterly 41(3):168–187

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • OLIP (n.d.) Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP) (n.d.). Ottawa Immigration Strategy. Retrieved from

  • Olson BD, Jason LA (2015) Participatory mixed methods research. In: Hesse-Biber SN, Johnson RB (eds) The Oxford handbook of multimethod and mixed methods research inquiry. Oxford University Press, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Pain R, Francis P (2003) Reflections on participatory research. Area 35(1):46–54.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Putnam RD (1993a) The prosperous community: social capital and economic growth. Current 356:4–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Putnam RD (1993b) The prosperous community: social capital and public life. Am Prospect 13:35–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Reason P (1994) Three approaches to participatory inquiry. In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (eds) Handbook of qualitative research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 324–339

    Google Scholar 

  • Reason P, Bradbury H (2001) Handbook of action research: participative inquiry and practice. Sage, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Small SA, Uttal L (2005) Action-oriented research: Strategies for engaged scholarship. J Marriage Fam 67(4):936–948

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Statistics Canada (2013) Immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada. Analytical document. National Household Survey, 2011. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. Retrieved from

  • Veronis L, Ahmed R (2015) The role of multicultural media in connecting local municipal governments with ethnocultural and immigrant communities: the case of Ottawa. Global Media Journal – Canadian Edition 8(2):73–95

    Google Scholar 

  • WK Kellogg Foundation (2013) Community health scholars program. Community campus partnership for health. Retrieved from

Download references


This research is part of the Ottawa Multicultural Media Initiative (OMMI) which was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (Project Number: 890–2010-0137).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Rukhsana Ahmed .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this entry

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Ahmed, R., Veronis, L. (2018). A Community-Based Participatory Mixed-Methods Approach to Multicultural Media Research. In: Servaes, J. (eds) Handbook of Communication for Development and Social Change. Springer, Singapore.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-10-7035-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-10-7035-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Literature, Cultural & Media StudiesReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences