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Action and Knowledge: Breaking the Monopoly with Participatory Action Research

Edited By: Orlando Fals-Borda and Muhammad Anisur Rahman

Practical Action Publishing

Paperback | Jan 1991 | #34808 | ISBN: 1853390984
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NHBS Price: £15.95 $22/€18 approx

About this book

Participatory Action-Research, or PAR, is an innovative and radical approach to economic and social change that recognizes how important it is for people who are involved to have the critical voice in determining the direction and goals of change. This demands a commitment from social scientists and policy makers to deprofessionalize and share their expertise, and to listen to the feelings and needs of the common people, particularly those forgotten and left voiceless by the dominant institutions of society. "Action and Knowledge" draws on 20 years of experience with the techniques and philosophy of PAR using case studies from Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America to show how widespread this approach to development has become since it emerged as a new way to empower the oppressed two decades ago. As shown in this book, PAR can successfully bring about change because it actively involves people in generating knowledge about their own condition and how it can best be transformed. The book gives a constructive message to social action groups, grass-roots organizers and government officials in both industrialized countries and the Third World on ways to stimulate social and economic change, and will also lead to further dialogue with scholars, teachers and students (especially those who consider themselves "post-modern" about the crisis of "development".


Part 1 Introduction: some basic ingredients, Orlando Fals-Borda; the theoretical standpoint of PAR, Muhammad Anisur Rahman; a self-review of PAR, Muhammad Anisur Rahman and Orlando Fals-Borda. Part 2 Vivencias: together against the computer - PAR and the struggle of Afro-Colombians for public service, Gustavo I. de Roux; young labourers in Bogota - breaking authoritarian ramparts, Maria Cristina Salazar; action and participatory research - a case of peasant organization, Vera Gianotten and Ton de Wit; glimpses of the other Africa, Muhammad Anisur Rahman; people's power in Zimbabwe, Sithembiso Nyoni; toward a knowledge democracy - viewpoints on participatory research in North America, John Gaventa. Part 3 Steps in praxiology: stimulation of self-reliant initiatives by sensitized agents - some lessons from practice, S.Tilakaratna; remaking knowledge, Orlando Fals-Borda.

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