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Participatory Theatre as a Research Methodology: Identity, Performance and Social Action Among Refugees


  • Erene Kaptani


  • Nira Yuval-Davis


The paper is based on the ESRC research project: 'Identity, Performance and Social Action: Community Theatre Among Refugees' which is part of the research programme on 'Identities and Social Action.' After describing the project, the paper examines the methodological specificities and different stages of Playback and Forum Theatre. The latter includes image work, character building, scenes and interventions. It argues that overall participatory theatre techniques as sociological research methods provide different kinds of data and information than other methods – embodied, dialogical and illustrative. The paper ends by examining in which circumstances the use of these techniques as research methodology will be beneficial and calls for an overall wider use of them in sociological research, especially for studying narratives of identity of marginalized groups as well as for illustrating perceptions and experiences of social positionings and power relations in and outside community groupings. Using participatory theatre as a research tool, therefore, can be considered as one form of action research.

Suggested Citation

  • Erene Kaptani & Nira Yuval-Davis, 2008. "Participatory Theatre as a Research Methodology: Identity, Performance and Social Action Among Refugees," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 13(5), pages 1-2.
  • Handle: RePEc:sro:srosro:2008-8-3

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