More than participatory? From ‘compensatory’ towards ‘expressive’ remote practices using digital technologies

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Based on the shift from face-to-face participatory action research (PAR) with groups in situations of vulnerability to digital methods during COVID-19, we reflect on how we can go beyond compensating for the physical absence of the researcher from the field. We argue that instead of simply aiming to replace face-to-face research with a digital equivalent for maintaining ‘participatory’ and ‘inclusive’ research practices, remote practices have the potential of being more-than compensatory. We suggest that when producing multi-method digital approaches, we need to go beyond a concern with participant access to remote practices. By rethinking remote PAR in the light of expressive rather than participatory research practices, we critically reflect on the (sometimes experimental) process of trying out different digital research method(s) with Brazilian youth in situations of digital marginalisation, including the initial ‘failures’ and lessons learned in encouraging diverse forms of participant expression, and ownership using WhatsApp.




Börner, S., Kraftl, P., & Giatti, L. L. (2023). More than participatory? From ‘compensatory’ towards ‘expressive’ remote practices using digital technologies. Qualitative Research.

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