To combine reflection with action is not as easy as one may think. Research ethics, feminism and activism are some of the topics that Mary Brydon-Miller and Maria Persdotter discuss in this episode of Medea Vox.
35 years ago, I was a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts in the United States, studying environmental psychology. I was interested in including my work as a community organizer—working with older people and people with physical disabilities—as part of my research. But I was told by my advisor that “You can’t mix your politics and your psychology!”
That seemed an unsatisfactory answer to me. And I thought, “Well if I have to give up one or the other, I’ll give up the psychology!” but I didn’t want to be forced to do that, so I went looking for a way of somehow combining my role as researcher and activist. And that’s what brought me to doing action research.
This is a conversation between Mary Brydon-Miller, professor of educational studies and the director of the Action Research Center at the University of Cincinnati and Maria Persdotter, PhD student in urban studies at Malmö University and at Roskilde University whose PhD work focuses on a policy response of so-called vulnerable EU citizens, focusing particularly on Eastern European Roma who live rough in Malmö.
Also see Mary Brydon-Miller’s Medea Talk “Then Let Us All Be Monsters: Tackling Tough Issues through Action Research.”