How ‘co’ can you go? A qualitative inquiry on the key principles of co-creative research and their enactment in real-life practices

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Abstract

This paper aims to gain a better understanding of co-creative research key principles and their enactment in real-life practices. The study is based on interviews and a focus group with academic researchers and professionals (n = 16) involved in eight co-creative research projects funded by the Brussels Regional Institute for Research and Innovation (Innoviris). The study demonstrates the tension between respondents’ understanding of the key principles of co-creative research (e.g. a transformative aim, considering the community as actors, shared ownership, valuing experiential knowledge) and the power issues they face related to a ‘project-funding’ and ‘academic research’ logic when enacting those principles in real-life practices. This paper concludes that although dealing with power relations is inherent in co-creative research, power imbalances should be questioned on the level of (1) the linear, limited and inflexible nature of ‘project-funding’ logics and (2) the exclusive character of research methods, settings and institutions in ‘academic research’ logics. Finally, introducing a political and emancipatory dimension in co-creative research can contribute to reducing the gap between principles and their enactment in real-life practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Eight professionals participated in one focus group interview (five women and three men). They had all been involved in a co-creative research project Entour’Age Nord funded by Innoviris through the Brussels Innovative Care program between 2014 and 2016. Professionals from different social organisations that were part of the consortium of the Entour’Age Nord project were invited via e-mail to participate in the focus group which took place after one year and a half of actively working on the project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • co-creation, participatory action research, power

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