Durham University’s Qualitative Health Research Group presents:

Reconstructing power dynamics in health research: It’s research Jim, but not as we know it. Professor Alan Roulstone

Wednesday 25th January, 12-2, Trevelyan College, Durham

Health and disability research is increasingly questioning the positivist and objective claims of some large-scale and ‘authorised’ medical research (e.g RCTs)-its ability to comprehend the complex nature of illness and disability. Developments in research methods have begun to place patients, service users and carers at the centre of the research process. At its furthest limits, research has gone beyond notions of user-led research and participatory research to talk of emancipatory research paradigms and methods. This seminar will explore the benefits and pitfalls of what can broadly be termed user-led research methods and philosophies. Drawing on ‘real life’ research project examples, the seminar will draw out through a range of research studies/methods, the use and applicability of user-led and involved approaches. The seminar will argue that changing the social relations of research is key to progressive and meaningful health research. However it will argue that emancipatory research can over-claim benefits whilst ignoring the wider applicability of a range of qualitative and quantitative messages in health and disability research. A key consideration in the seminar is the nature and self construction of ‘chronic’ ill health and disability, one that increasingly and fundamentally counters individualised or negative metaphors found in some powerful health policy and practice discourse. Sick and disabled people are not only being acknowledged as experts in their own lives, but also as important actors in the research process.

All welcome. Please email Sally Brown as soon as possible if you would like to attend.


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