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Prof. Dr. Stefan Thomas Professor for Empirical Social Research and Social Work University of Applied Science, Potsdam Social Work Faculty Friedrich-Ebert-Str.

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Presentation on theme: "Prof. Dr. Stefan Thomas Professor for Empirical Social Research and Social Work University of Applied Science, Potsdam Social Work Faculty Friedrich-Ebert-Str."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prof. Dr. Stefan Thomas Professor for Empirical Social Research and Social Work University of Applied Science, Potsdam Social Work Faculty Friedrich-Ebert-Str Potsdam, Germany Participatory Research Methods – Communicative Research Forums and Social Self-Clarification

2 Stefan Thomas Participation – Beyond Research? Participation as an epistemological means of and a methodological tool for fulfilling central claims of qualitative inquiry

3 Stefan Thomas 1. A Participatory Research Project

4 Stefan Thomas St. Ursulaheim - Social Services for Homeless People Key-features of St.Ursula-Services Rules of the house democratically set up by clients Residential Housing offering "wrap around" services Drop-in Centre (Wärmestube) 6 1/2 of 18 positions staffed with ex- clients/inhabitants Ambulant Medical Treatment (Pflasterstube) Open access to all institutional committees Institutional platform for a grassroots organization of homeless people A culture of institutional participation and political engagement

5 Stefan Thomas The Research Project We established a participatory research approach over the last 3 years Everyone who works and lives in the St. Ursula Shelter can participate

6 1. Workshop Formation of the research team consisting of clients - professionals - researchers Joined construction of the research question

7 Stefan Thomas Results of the first workshop: Research Question

8 2. Workshop: Collecting narratives about the road to St. Ursula Invitation to an open discussion to all inhabitants of the residential home First interviews about the road to St. Ursula

9 Stefan Thomas 3. to 6. Workshop Training in scientific methods Understanding scientific methods Introduction in interview construction Interview training Joint interviews Developing an digital archive about the history of the institution Training in methods of data analysis Collaborative interpretation workshops

10 Stefan Thomas 2. Theses for Participatory Research Methods

11 Stefan Thomas PRM and Qualitative Research openness towards the research topic communication as a central means of the research process importance of socio-cultural meaning and subjective interpretations Theorization based on the everyday understanding/notions of everyday life

12 Stefan Thomas Communicative research forums from belief to intersubjectivity to discursive truth communicative research forums as a tool to build up spheres of (counter) public The research participants do research on the contradictions and restrictions of their daily practices. The research forum starts with the articulation of the individuals perspective on a subject/problem but it may become a deliberation of general interests prevalent among the participants trough the public discourse

13 Stefan Thomas Social Self-Clarification The project on social self-clarification aims on initiating a self-reflexive discourse on the psychosocial conditions of good living, satisfaction and prosperity. This includes the question on the societal restrictions of individual and social wellbeing and development caused by unjust, unequal, irrational living conditions

14 Stefan Thomas Science and social self-clarification The task of science: Initiating public spheres of social self-clarification: Scientific theory stays in touch with the definitions, notions and problems of everyday practices Theory and method becomes scientific tools to get in a reflexive distance to everyday practices Science makes explicit what everyday practices already knows implicitly Science fosters the claims of an open discourse by its self- reflexive and rational standards in the course of deliberate reasoning (Critical) Science refuses personalization of social problems by focusing on social structures and the societal intermediation of individual existence

15 Prof. Dr. Stefan Thomas Professor for Empirical Social Research and Social Work University of Applied Science, Potsdam Social Work Faculty Friedrich-Ebert-Str Potsdam, Germany Thanks for your attention!


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