SSCI E-140 Pursuing Truth and Justice: Community-Based, Participatory, and Action Research
This course explores the principles and methods of community-based, participatory, and action research. We engage with various perspectives on the process, practice, and applications of engaged inquiry, with an emphasis on diverse voices, sources, and materials. The course seeks to connect to students' professional work and personal pursuits outside of their coursework. Through this course, students learn to apply the course concepts and tools to their academic and professional work, as well as to advocacy and organizing efforts they may be engaged or interested with. In the course we discuss various frameworks and systems of knowing and meaning making through the research process; how they are centered on, or the extent they intersect with the pursuit of equity and justice; and pragmatic approaches for moving from theory to practice. We discuss power and privilege in the context of research; perspectives on investigator identity and location; the promise and limitations of engaged inquiry to help advance social change; and the ethics of inquiry with historically and systemically oppressed people and communities. We explore a variety of approaches, including participatory action research (PAR), community-based participatory research (CBPR), and citizen science, and discuss how different approaches for asking questions, methods for gathering and analyzing information, and sharing knowledge can be applied within various engaged research approaches. Ultimately, we critically examine how inquiry that emphasizes equity, collaboration, and reciprocity in the uncovering, integration, application, and dissemination of knowledge can be a tool of liberation and certain methods a strategy for responding to oppression, colonization, and systems of domination.