Creating communicative spaces in an action research study
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Creating communicative spaces in an action research study

Ann L Bevan Senior lecturer, School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University

Aim To argue that creating communicative spaces in an action research study gave voice to young mothers who may otherwise have remained voiceless.

Background Underpinning the concept of the communicative space in action research is the critical social theory of Jürgen Habermas, in particular, his theory of communicative action and the ideal speech situation. The author argues that in collaborative research, the successful creation of a communicative space is vital in enabling equitable and discursive speech to take place.

Review methods This is a methodological paper.

Discussion This approach provided a discursive space to participants who ordinarily may not have interacted, and led to the sharing of different perceptions and understandings that may not otherwise have been possible. This research pointed to the possibility of the ideal speech situation, and the value of opening up a communicative space for researchers and participants.

Conclusion Action research for professionals is a sometimes messy and time-consuming process. However, it is a rewarding approach that uncovers layers of interpretations and understanding that have meaning for the participants involved.

Implications for practice/research The creation of communicative spaces has the potential to enrich nursing research because of its participatory nature, making it more likely that solutions reached will have meaning to people.

Nurse Researcher. 21, 2, 14-17. doi: 10.7748/nr2013.11.21.2.14.e347

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 01 August 2012

Accepted: 19 February 2013

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