Participatory Research as Social Practice, and Its Contribution to the Workplace Through Worker Models.

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010Susana Martínez Alcántara

Participatory research, also known as “actionoriented research” has made valuable theoretical and methodological contributions that allow us to explore and transform different social contexts: in health, education, communities, communication processes and the labor sector, among others. Its underpinnings allow thoughtful reflection on different practices by social groups, the generation of new knowledge and the acquisition of a new status for both the researcher as well as the group being researched, since both contribute to the generation and sharing of knowledge, and it includes the intent of changing practices to the benefit of a collective, as a way of achieving both immediate and long-term objectives. The articulation of actionoriented research goes through a process of recovering its enormous epistemological, political, ideological and ethical value. One example of participatory research is the Italian Worker Model, which has been implemented, at different times in history, in diverse workplaces and in different social contexts. Its use in some countries makes it still viable, although current social, political and economic conditions indicate the need to develop new proposals that allow, under the framework of participatory research, the generation of a new model
that is responsive to these new realities.

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