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It’s Being Close that Makes it Possible to Accept Criticism!


  • Lotta Svensson


A central question for a researcher with interactive ambitions is to what extent the research concerned can support development at the same time as distance and a critical attitude are maintained. In this article I will show how the interactive research approach has made it possible to create new knowledge together with the participants, in a situation in which closeness itself was largely the factor that enabled the participants to accept reflections and criticism, and to exercise self-criticism when reviewing their activities. The learning of the participants enabled them to move beyond common sense, and to jointly acquire and develop knowledge in the research process. This article will show how the interactive research process made the situation of young people an item on the municipal agenda, and how the knowledge gained came to be expressed both in discussion and in political decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lotta Svensson, 2007. "It’s Being Close that Makes it Possible to Accept Criticism!," International Journal of Action Research, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 3(3), pages 278-296.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2007_03_svenssonlotta

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    closeness; criticism; trustful relationships; regional development;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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