Qualitative Researcher, 11 pp 2-4
Increasingly in the field of conducting research based regeneration initiatives in disadvantaged or disengaged communities there is a growing realization of the importance of developing a more egalitarian participatory based approach to the research enterprise and the whole political process that is involved (Bowler et al 2007), i.e. establishing greater dialogue and reciprocity between researcher and researched. However, if this dialogue is to be successful it is important to establish some form of parity between these two voices as obviously there are some significant power differentials contained within any such relationship. If those who belong to socially marginalized groups find that their voices are discounted or not listened to and generally do not have the same “worth” as those who are instigating the research they will quickly disengage from the process; such an approach has the potential to further compound social exclusion, disengagement and the difficulty of conducting research in such environments rather than provide an effective and meaningful methodology. This paper will examine a concrete example of the utilization of participatory video production with young people that not only acted as an effective research tool but also contributed to the development of cultural, linguistic (Bourdieu: 1990) and social capital (Putnam: 2000) in a post industrial community in South Wales.