Participatory Action Research and Its Meanings: Vivencia, Praxis, Conscientization
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This article traces the development of the “second” and arguably more well-known “genre” of participatory action research (PAR). The article argues that the origins of PAR are highly distributed and cannot really be traced back to the ideas of a single person or even a single group of researchers. Instead, the development of PAR is tied to social movements of the 20th century, in particular land reform, anticolonialism, and need for a new research methodology, occurring simultaneously across multiple continents. The origins of PAR have little to do with the action research that developed in the United States. For that reason the PAR referent can sometimes be confusing or even misleading. We suggest that the second PAR also be recognized through its mirror concepts of vivencia, praxis, and conscientization—PAR/VPC. We discuss the core underpinnings of PAR/VPC and its evolution with strong ties to the sociopolitical context of developing societies and their fight for liberation. We also suggest our reflections of future of PAR/VPC with integration of feminist perspectives and inclusion of youth in the education movement.