Too much coffee... - Negotiation of Knowledge Forms in Participatory Research Settings

Birgitte Ravn Olesen, Helle Merete Nordentoft

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Based on a Bakhtinian approach negotiations of knowledge in a workshop with health professionals at two psychiatric wards were analyzed. Our analysis reveals that there is a mismatch between the dialogical context we as participatory-oriented researchers want to invoke and the monological context we in fact co-produce in-interaction. The analysis shows that there appears to be two major reasons for this undesired nature of the conversations. First, all participants (including us) orient to a formal and monological learning context in which there seems to be a hierarchical relationship between the participants in the workshop relating primarily to level of education. Secondly, we confuse the participants in the workshop because there is a mismatch between our orientation to a formal learning context as described above and our search for their local, concrete and lived experiences - i.e. a situated knowledge. The analysis indicates that this mismatch potentially adds to the confusion because we on the one hand meet the practitioners’ expectations to us as researchers when we invoke a more formal learning context. On the other hand we do probably not meet their expectations when we are looking for sensitive and contextualized knowledge because a representational and de-contextualized knowledge form is closely linked to a more formalized learning context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date5 Jun 2013
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2013
EventParticipation and Power : in Participatory Research and Action Research - Aalborg Universitet, København, København, Denmark
Duration: 5 Jun 20137 Jun 2013


ConferenceParticipation and Power
LocationAalborg Universitet, København
Internet address


  • participation
  • knowledge
  • facilitating processes

Cite this

Olesen, B. R., & Nordentoft, H. M. (2013). Too much coffee... - Negotiation of Knowledge Forms in Participatory Research Settings. Paper presented at Participation and Power , København, Denmark.