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Applying social scienceThe role of social research in politics, policy and practice$
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David Byrne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424518

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424518.001.0001

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(p.155) Eight Acting
Applying social science

David Byrne

Policy Press

This chapter deals with acting — the role of social science in action research. It argues that in addition to research projects which are explicitly identified as ‘action research’ much of the process of policy formation and implementation has a strong research component. It establishes a methodological basis for action research in contrast with notions of ‘pure social science’; explores the relationship between action research and the notion of praxis in social research; illustrates with examples drawn from community development, development projects in the global south, health projects and education projects; considers the role of action research in participatory governance. It draws on examples of action research in practice including the UK CDPs of the 1970s.

Keywords:   acting, action research, pure social science, praxis, community development, global south, participatory governance, UK CDPs

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