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Scientific Knowledge through Involvement – How to Do Respectful Othering

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  • Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen

Abstract

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
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    File URL: http://www.hampp-verlag.de/hampp_e-journals_IJAR.htm#110
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    Keywords

    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

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