Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1384-6639
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9692
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While welcoming Gustavsen’s exploration of issues of scale and wider influence in action research, which argues that we need to extend the relatively small scale of individual action research ‘cases’ and see action research as creating social movements and social capital, this article takes issue with the implication that this implies that less attention must be paid to the personal and interpersonal dimensions of action research. Issues of scale must be approached not only through distributive action research as Gustavsen advocates, but also by expanding the emancipatory inquiry space of face-to-face inquiry practices. The integration of the personal with the political is seen as absolutely central to this type of work; a range of examples is offered. The possibility that action research can never be part of mainstream science but rather runs fundamentally counter to mainstream Western culture is explored. It is argued that action research must be seen not as a form of social science producing knowledge or cases, but as a form of day to day inquiry integrated in the lives of individuals, small groups, organizations and society as a whole.


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