(2007) How do we change? [ENG]

Monday 18 October 2010, by Miguel Angel Martinez

All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

Unpublished in English. Spanish version: MIGUEL MARTÍNEZ LÓPEZ, ANTONIA ARETIO, ALFONSO TROYA. 2008. ¿CÓMO CAMBIAMOS? INTERSTICIOS 2-1, 19-41 http://www.intersticios.es

Participative action-research (PAR) has been proposed as a sui generis methodology in social sciences: it is more concerned with the process than the results, and involves different individuals in some or all of its operations, substituting the scientific community with other knowledge validation criteria, etc. These parameters have fuelled open criticism of bit just the academic dynamics of the production, distribution and appropriation of scientific knowledge but also the paradigms of social intervention on the part of party-oriented, burocratised and professional organisations. In turn, both these hegemonic fields have accused PAR of, among other things, indeterminism, lack of rigour and vanguardism. However, throughout their historical development and specific applications participative methodologies have not often been criticised for lacking a "method of social change". To overcome this shortcoming, and in order not to ignore all their contributions to a reflexive praxis of social sciences, we decided to address this problem by asking three questions: how do subjects involved in a process of PAR change?; how do social changes come about throughout a PAR process?; and how do the potentialities of social change occur? In order to answer these questions, we examined, among other aspects, the results of a specific experiment carried out in a neighbourhood of Logroño during the last seven years, to determine the validity of “creative strategies” for bringing together, coordinating and mobilising social groups in a PAR process.