Action Research as Ethical Practice:Coordinating Voices, Expanding Possibilities

Abstract:

All that we do creates some sort of relationship with others and with our environment. The
question remains: what kind of relation are we crafting? Action research, with its emphasis on collaboration among researchers and community members (co-researchers), attempts to generate forms of practice that are useful for that specific community rather than provide a singular answer to a social challenge. This sort of relationship is distinct from the long-standing tradition of research that positions an expert researcher as providing objectively produced discoveries concerning social issues. One might say, in fact, that action research embraces an ethic of discursive potential – that is, an ethic of expanding the possibilities for those involved in the research endeavor as well as expanding whose voices are heard. This chapter focuses on ethics
in action research seen from a relational constructionist stance and presents two illustrative examples.