Practising partnership - participative enquiry with older people

This source preferred by Lee-Ann Fenge

Authors: Fenge, L.-A.

Journal: Social Work Education

Volume: 21

Pages: 171-181

ISSN: 0261-5479

DOI: 10.1080/02615470220126417

This paper examines the importance of approaching research with minority groups of older people in an inclusive way. For older people, ageism is a key feature of the discrimination and marginalisation they experience, but some are excluded and marginalised further on the basis of their ethnicity and sexuality. The ‘invisibility’ of these groups poses a challenge to social workers and social work educators, as assumptions about their experiences and needs may be made which do not reflect the subjective experiences of these older people. The use of Participatory Action Research as a method of including service users in knowledge and theory development will be analysed, and a research proposal undertaken in partnership with a local voluntary agency will be explored. The importance for social work education of pursuing ‘inclusive’ methods of research so that service users have more power over knowledge produced about their lives, will be discussed.

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