November 6, 2008

Research participant

Changing contribution and meaning of a research participant was another widely discussed theme during the workshop. Referring to my previous post, it is a rather radical change to think participants as possible authors of research. Ethnographic action research and action research in general are, however, methods that have been used for decades with good outcomes. Lower degrees of participant involvement are everyday and more widely accepted. It was discussed how researchers need to take the research participants into account as audience members, for example. They may be reading papers written by the researcher. It was discussed how to write for wide audiences which may include research participants.

Participants are often selected by researchers and this affects on the possible outcomes. Personal preferences can lead researcher’s decisions, which is important to note when writing about research.

It was discussed how participants also react differently based on what they know about the researcher. An example was given about marital status as a basis of trust in cultures where it affects on the interaction between men and women.

No comments: