Pahl, Kate and Ward, Paul (2017) Re-visioning exclusion in local communities. In: Building Better Societies: Promoting Social Justice in a World Falling Apart. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 95-110. ISBN 978-1447332032

This chapter examines the idea of co-production as an emergent space of practice where imaginative ideas can emerge and interrupt settled and deterministic notions of ways of knowing in communities. We consider ways in which a co-produced approach to research could enable us to then imagine how communities might be different. Engagement with communities at all stages of the research places collaborative and participatory research methods in a central role to widen the ways community partners and universities can work together. In this chapter, we consider the methodologies that can be used to think about accommodating diverse opinions and ways of knowing within communities, and in particular we look at the history of civic engagement and what it tells us about processes of exclusion and integration in local communities. We ask the question whether community research is being transformed by developments in social research methodology, particularly the development of collaborative methods and methodologies from the arts and humanities. We argue that this process requires ‘pluralistic tools’ that cross arts and humanities and social science, in order to access ways of knowing that are slippery, evasive and not linked to dominant paradigms. These moments of re-visioning instead rely on growing spaces for co-production that involve uncertainty, mess and transformation.

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