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Emancipation or Workability? Critical versus pragmatic scientific orientation in action research
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1902-5155
2008 (English)In: Action Research, ISSN 1476-7503, Vol. 6, no 1, p. 95-115Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article a distinction between a pragmatic and a critical orientation of action research is made. These orientations can be considered, implicitly or explicitly, to be the main alternatives in AR today. What are the assumptions behind, and practical implications for, AR projects with different orientations? A number of themes are introduced where a tension between the two are identified and illustrated in the form of a dialogue and friendly quarrel between proponents from each side. It is argued that the two orientations suit different research contexts and cannot easily be combined. The pragmatic orientation is well suited for contexts where concerted and immediate action is needed, whereas the critical is preferable where transformative action needs to be preceded by critical thinking and reflection. In the former, power to act is a desired outcome, and in the latter, unequal and invisible power relations need to be unveiled before they can be transformed. The responsibility of the researcher, as well as the form of knowledge developed, differs between the two orientations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 6, no 1, p. 95-115
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-9165DOI: 10.1177/1476750307083713ISI: 000207452600006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-57749137436OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-9165DiVA, id: diva2:301738
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-03-03 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Lindhult, Erik

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