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Co-constructing Feminist Research: Ensuring meaningful participation whilst researching the experiences of criminalised women

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Forthcoming
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/02/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Methodological Innovations
Publication statusAccepted/In press
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Traditional forms of knowledge production can serve to reproduce the power imbalances present within the social contexts that research and knowledge production occur. With the interests of the discipline of criminology so closely entwined with the criminal justice system, it is no surprise that crime, punishment, rehabilitation, and desistance have not been adequately examined from a gendered perspective. This paper examines a participatory action research (PAR) process conducted with criminalised women subject to community punishment and probation supervision in the North West of England. By examining the feminist methodology within which this research is framed, discussions about meaningful collaboration offer insights into the potential for creativity in research to become transformative. Using a range of creative qualitative research methods, specifically map making, photovoice, and creative writing, this research attempts to understand the experience of criminalised women. Charting the way in which this research prioritises the collaboration of criminalised women at all stages of the research process, this paper proposes that meaningful participation is about more than process management. It is only by moving beyond typologies of participation, towards an understanding of how participation in the created research space responds to the groups wider oppression, in this case by overcoming trauma or demonstrating reform, that collaboration with holders of lived experience can uncover subjugated knowledge and facilitate transformative action.