Working Together to Create Change: Theory, Experience and Praxis

Maggie O'Neill, Rosie Campbell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we highlight the benefits of using participatory action research (PAR) based upon our long histories of using this approach in our research on sex work, with sex workers and wider communities including residents, criminal justice agencies and other stakeholders. We draw upon one particular example in our collaborative research that combines participatory arts (PA) with PAR. The chapter opens by articulating the methodological approach of PAR, how we used this method and how we combined this with PA, highlighting the importance and value of the arts in research. We go on to share some of the findings that emerged from our arts-based research with sex workers and suggest how researchers might bridge the gap between theory, lived experience and praxis in order to do social justice and work together to create change. With ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ now perhaps the main banner of the sex worker rights movement globally (ICRSE, 2015), signifying a call for the meaningful involvement of sex workers in policy, programmes and services on sex work, we argue PAR related research can offer a framework for sex worker inclusion and contribute to transforming policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGiving Voice to Diversity in Criminological Research
Subtitle of host publication‘Nothing about Us without Us’
EditorsOrla Lynch, James Windle, Yasmine Ahmed
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherBristol University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781529215526, 1529215528
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


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