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    Going public? Re-thinking visibility, ethics and recognition through participatory research praxis

    Dickens, L. and Butcher, Melissa (2016) Going public? Re-thinking visibility, ethics and recognition through participatory research praxis. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41 (4), pp. 528-540. ISSN 0020-2754.

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    Recent work in human geography has articulated the principles of an emerging ‘participatory ethics’. Yet despite sustained critical examination of the participatory conditions under which geographical knowledge is produced, far less attention has addressed how a participatory ethics might unsettle the conventional ways such knowledge continues to be received, circulated, exchanged and mediated. As such, the uptake of visual methods in participatory research praxis has drawn a range of criticism for assuming visual outputs ‘tell their own stories’ and that publics might be straightforwardly engage with them. In response, this paper develops an argument for adopting an ethical stance that takes a more situated, processual account of the ways participants themselves might convene their own forms of public engagement, and manage their own conditions of becoming visible through the research process. To do so the concept of an ethics of recognition is developed, drawing attention to the inter- and intra-subjective relations that shape the public research encounter, and signalling ways that participants might navigate such conditions in pursuit of their intuitive desire to give an account of themselves to others. This ethical stance is then used to rethink questions of visibility and publicness through the conditions of reception, mediation and exchange that took place during the efforts of a London-based participatory research project to ‘go public’. Drawing in particular on the experiences of one of the project participants, we suggest how a processual and contingent understanding of public engagement informed by such an ethics of recognition might be anticipated, approached and enacted.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Ethics, Participatory research, Public engagement, Recognition, Visibility, Visual methods.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Melissa Butcher
    Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2016 11:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:25


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