Discovering Grounded Theories for Social Justice
This chapter begins with a description of participatory action research (PAR), followed by a survey of its historical and disciplinary roots and an introduction to the methodological variation within PAR. It implies the methodological orientations and choices involved in PAR should arise in and through the relational contexts of a particular study. The chapter draws the author's own experiences and understandings of social science research in Arctic Canada, a place laden with hopes and tensions, and certainly ripe for social justice inquiry. It portrays PAR as a values-led and contextually specific orientation to inquiry. Social justice is an inherent feature of both the process and product of PAR. PAR represents the democratization of knowledge in terms of knowledge access, ownership, and generation. Much like PAR itself, democratizing knowledge is an emergent process and more often than not an ideal to which researchers strive.