Practice-based evidence: Towards collaborative and transgressive research

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Abstract

Studies of the application of research in policy and service delivery suggest that the translation of research findings into practice is not straightforward. Practitioners are criticized for failing to base actions on research evidence, while academic research is sometimes condemned as 'irrelevant' to practice. This paper argues that this conflict derives in part from an academic model of research constructed in opposition to practice. Reflections on scientific logocentrism (claims to possess unmediated knowledge of reality) and 'transgressive' action research provide a critique of traditional research and suggest an alternative, practice-based research model. Three propositons for generating 'practice-based evidence' are identified. Firstly, the pursuit of knowledge should be acknowledged as a local and contingent process. Secondly, research activity should be constitutive of difference, questioning the legitimation and repression of particular aspects of the world. Finally, theory-building should be seen as an adjunct to practical activity. Together, these positions dissolve the researcher/researched and research/practice oppositions in traditional research and supply an ethically and politically engaged research. Practice-based research is explored in terms of four moments in the research process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalSociology
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

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