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Anchoring the Critical in Media Research, Vol. 23 - 2016, No. 1

Guest Edited by Ilija Tomanić Trivundža and Nico Carpentier

Beyond the Ladder of Participation: An Analytical Toolkit for the Critical Analysis of Participatory Media Processes

, pages: 70-88

Participatory research is facing three challenges—how to deal with the theoretisation and conceptualisation of participation; how to support the research with analytical models; and how the evaluate the research outcomes. This article aims to address these three problems by distinguishing two main approaches (a sociological and a political) in participatory theory and developing a four-level and 12-step analytical model that functions within the political approach. In this analytical model, a series of key concepts are used: process, field, actor, decision-making moment and power. The normative-evaluative problem is addressed by reverting to the critical perspective to evaluate the societal desirability of particular participatory intensities. This critical perspective—potentially—adds a 13th and final normative layer to the analytical model.

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