Participation, Truth and Partiality: Participatory Action Research, Community-based Truth-telling and Post-conflict Transition in Northern Ireland

Lundy, P and Mcgovern, Mark (2006) Participation, Truth and Partiality: Participatory Action Research, Community-based Truth-telling and Post-conflict Transition in Northern Ireland. Sociology, 40 (1). pp. 71-88. ISSN 0038-0385 DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038506058431

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Abstract

The article assesses some methodological and ethical issues raised by a Participatory Action Research (PAR) ‘truth-telling’ project conducted in Northern Ireland.The authors reflect on their role in the Ardoyne Commemoration Project (ACP), a community-based study that recorded and published relatives’ testimonies of victims of the Northern Ireland conflict.The article addresses two major areas of concern. First, it explores the potential value for post-conflict transition in carrying out PAR-informed, single-identity, community-based research work in a violently divided society.The authors argue that such ‘insider’ research can make an important contribution to developing strategies of conflict resolution, although significant limits need also to be recognized. Second, the article critically assesses the validity of claims to telling the ‘truth’ that such a project involves.The end of legitimating popular knowledge is key to a PAR-based approach and this can have important consequences for post-conflict transition. However, in a divided society such a goal also raises significant questions concerning the issue of partiality and the limits this sets for the nature of the ‘truth’ that may be told.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Sociology
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2010 13:34
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/196

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