IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Scientific Knowledge through Involvement – How to Do Respectful Othering


  • Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen


The theme of this article is how we as social scientists can research others through involvement, and develop true knowledge about the other without “othering” them, that is, not objectifying them or making them an instrument in our research, but rather be respectful of the other as a person. The thesis of this article is that othering is a matter of degree as well as principles. Social science and Action research can do respectful othering. Doing that is both a matter of personal skill and the wisdom of the researcher and of complying with some design principles. I argue that these design principles can be related to four areas of knowledge that we are likely to find in an involved research situation: knowledge about oneself, knowledge about the other, knowledge about the relation and knowledge about the situation.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen, 2010. "Scientific Knowledge through Involvement – How to Do Respectful Othering," International Journal of Action Research, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 6(1), pages 43-74.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2010_01_johnsen

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    involvement; respectful othering; action research; research design; knowledge;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rai:ijares:doi_10.1688/1861-9916_ijar_2010_01_johnsen. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rainer Hampp). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.