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participatory action research and the “scoping” problem


Some advice for a friend grappling with the difficulty of finding and keeping a tight focus of the issues emerging from his group research into sex discrimination in the workplace. I wish i could foloow my own advice and stay focused

Phil: here’s a thought experiment: what would happen if you treated your research inquiry as a journey and proceeded step by step out from your start point, sensing and responding to the co-researchers needs as you go?

i see you trying to get your arms around a topic that is miles wide and deep; it addresses one of the most complex sociological issue-complexes of all time; i hear you devleoping plans to “understand all of it” in order to do….what?

what if you had in your hand something precious already being developed thru the voluntary contribution sof your trusted others in your group.  what are the questions with the most energy that are emanating from that group? which you CAN get your arms around? what research is needed to satisfy their hunger to know, and do, and be and become? what’s the emotional driver that keeps this group going? to satisfy what end? what need? maybe, let the research direction and depth support that hunger to know

do all the members of your group share your interest in the massive research undertaking you are describing?  have you already mentally left the group to climb your own mountain?

just thinking out loud, as i go through the same cycles of trying to solve the largest problems i can imagine, often at the expense of taking care of my own little garden plot

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