Action Research, Community Psychology and Men with Learning Disabilities

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Action Research, Community Psychology and Men with Learning Disabilities

  1. 1. ‘ I want choice and I want change’: Using participatory action research to improve the health of men labelled with ‘learning difficulties’. Michael Richards Manchester Metropolitan University
  2. 2. Community Psychology <ul><li>Here are 4 main points that summarise community psychology: </li></ul><ul><li>A. Places people in social contexts. </li></ul><ul><li>B. Empowerment is a central concept. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Collaborative with others who are marginalised. </li></ul><ul><li>D. Use of a plurality of research methods, particularly action orientated. </li></ul>
  3. 4. Participatory Action Research <ul><li>Participatory research emphasizes the direct participation of individuals with disabilities in research development, implementation, and dissemination. </li></ul><ul><li>As such, it represents a radical departure from traditional research and rehabilitation practices in which individuals with disabilities have been treated as passive objects of study (Balcazar et al, 2006). </li></ul>
  4. 5. Participatory Action Research <ul><li>Consider participants as social actors with a voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate goal is to transform social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem within community/organisation itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Active participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging in dialogical approaches leads to critical awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising people’s strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>Promotes personal change for participants. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Participatory Action Research <ul><li>‘ It seeks to bring together action and reflection, theory and practice, in participation with others, in the pursuit of practical solutions to issues of pressing concern to people and more generally the flourishing of individual persons and their communities’ (Reason and Bradbury, 2001). </li></ul>
  6. 7. PAR – Role of the Researcher (Hoshmond and O’Byrne, 1996) <ul><li>A. Pragmatic and reflexive learner. </li></ul><ul><li>B. Draw on multiple frameworks and methods. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Form new relationships and new social structures. </li></ul><ul><li>D. Generate culture of enquiry. </li></ul><ul><li>E. Disseminate information. </li></ul><ul><li>F. Cooperative spirit in place of competitive careerism. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Men’s Group. <ul><li>Collaboration between MMU, MOSI and Manchester Mencap. </li></ul><ul><li>Aim to challenge the label of ‘learning difficulties’ and improve health. </li></ul><ul><li>Men aged 32 – 64 years, all labelled in some way with a disability. Some live independently and others in care homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Activities include filming, photography, debates, art, trips out and discussing their issues. </li></ul><ul><li>February 2012 – an exhibition for 6 months exhibiting their work. </li></ul>
  8. 10. Art Activities
  9. 11. Filming Activities

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