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The Emancipatory Research Paradigm

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Director Centre for the Study of Addiction and Recovery ... A man collapses and is unconscious at the rear of the Victorian State Parliament. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Emancipatory Research Paradigm


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(No Transcript)
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The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
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The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
  • A post-modern conception for scientific inquiry?
  • Emancipatory research makes no pretence of a
    dispassionate objectivity and it proclaims no
    pseudo-independence from the complex values and
    concerns that define us as human beings
  • Rather, emancipatory research is driven by a
    robust commitment to end the oppression, the
    stigma and the discrimination of people affected
    by serious substance use problems

4
Herald Sun Newspaper 27-8-05 Melbourne,
Australia A man collapses and is unconscious at
the rear of the Victorian State Parliament.
Instead of rushing to help him, police handcuff
him leave him face down (not in the recovery
position, but flat on his face) arrest his
friends (who were the only people who bothered to
call the ambulance), search him, seize his
belongings and leave him until paramedics arrive
to resuscitate him.
POLICE CODE OF CONDUCT I uphold the right in my
role within the Victoria Police Force by acting
with integrity and by providing service
excellence to everyone
5
The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
  • As people with lived experience of addiction and
    recovery, we are asking for acceptance and
    support of emancipatory research approaches
  • We have aspirations and hope about quality of
    life, valued roles, good outcomes, full recovery,
    self help, taking responsibility, empowerment and
    liberation
  • We are seeking support from visionary and skilled
    scientists to assist us to empower ourselves
    because we recognise and accept that only through
    a blend of two types of expertise working
    collaboratively (expertise by experience and
    expertise by profession) shall we achieve
    emancipation and the social conditions for
    wellbeing

6
The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
  • Despite an increasing interest in the consumer
    perspective, (rhetorically, even in the field of
    alcohol and other drugs), virtually all of focus
    of this interest remains professionally
    determined.
  • People affected by substance use problems
    continue to be systematically excluded
  • Our conditions are being defined for us
  • There is a pre-determined focus on pathology,
    deficits and blaming the victim
  • Our conditions are seen as psychological /
    individual disorders and the political, cultural
    and social dimensions (degradations) are largely
    ignored
  • We are seen as passive recipients / subjects
    (largely incompetent)
  • Power, resources, control and agenda setting
    remains exclusively in the hands of policy
    makers, researchers, service planners and
    treatment professionals

7
The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
  • In contrast, similar to the aspirations and well
    documented needs of liberation movements among
    women, African-Americans, people with
    disabilities, people with same sex preferences
    and most recently, people with mental illness, we
    seek to end the oppression and improve the way
    people with serious substance use disorders are
    treated
  • Emancipatory research has the capacity to become
    one key strategy in assisting people affected by
    substance use problems to speak out, to elevate
    their experiential expertise into a credible and
    meaningful knowledge base, to gain access to much
    needed resources, to better self manage their
    care needs, to take on valued roles and to lead
    fulfilling and worthwhile lives

8
The Emancipatory Research Paradigm
  • The strategies
  • Build robust partnerships with visionary
    professionals
  • Define a new epistemology based on lived
    experience of addiction and recovery
  • Develop and articulate a research agenda for and
    by the people directly affected
  • Provide opportunities for gaining relevant
    knowledge and skills
  • Encourage full participation and empowerment
    through providing access to valued, respected and
    meaningful roles
  • Continue to raise awareness and disseminate
    knowledge in an effort to assist people affected
    to take better control over their lives, to
    become familiar with ways of thinking about
    their condition and to better understand and
    support the need for an emancipatory movement

9
Putting the Vision into Practice
10
Putting the vision into practice
  • Robust partnerships between expertise by
    experience and expertise by profession
  • The National Development and Research Institutes
    a New York based research and educational
    organisation working in the areas of drug and
    alcohol treatment and recovery HIV, AIDS and
    HCV therapeutic communities youth at risk and
    related areas of public health, mental health,
    criminal justice, urban problems, prevention and
    epidemiology
  • The Self Help Addiction Resource Centre a peer
    based organisation in Melbourne which combines
    the expertise of experientialists with skilled
    professional practice to provide services that
    include residential recovery support, help for
    families and carers and advocacy for people
    affected by serious and chronic substance use
    problems

11
Putting the vision into practice
  • Define a new epistemology based on lived
    experience of addiction and recovery
  • Systematically document experiential learnings of
    people who have been through it
  • Create an empirical knowledge base founded on
    experiential expertise
  • Demonstrate that experiential knowledge (the
    experiential frame of reference is a valid way of
    knowing the world)
  • Reclaim the cultural authority to define
    reality, to construct meanings and to articulate
    values that are gained by personal subjective
    experience
  • Elevate experiential expertise to a level of
    credibility and authority equal to the expertise
    of a scientist or professional

12
Putting the vision into practice
  • Develop and articulate a research agenda for and
    by the people directly affected
  • THE PATHWAYS PROJECTS
  • A cross-cultural exploration of addiction
    recovery processes and experiences in the United
    States and Australia

13
Pathways Projects
  • Pathways New York
  • A 5 year NIDA funded longitudinal study
    investigating the factors associated with stable
    recovery over time (data collected 4 times at
    yearly intervals)
  • Semi-structured interviews and qualitative life
    history interviews
  • A baseline group of 354 participants self
    identified as in recovery (from 1 month to 10
    years)
  • Pathways Australia
  • A 2 year NIDA funded cross-sectional replication
    of Pathways New York
  • The project commenced in April 2005 and we are
    seeking 160 participants

14
Why study the recovery process
  • It is a wellness (strengths-based) focus in
    contrast to one based on pathology
  • The approach stresses the importance of
    experiential authority in building a knowledge
    and skill base for successful strategies for
    living, identifying needs and other determinants
    of recovery and relapse
  • We know very little about how recovering persons
    achieve and maintain their status over time ( in
    terms of locating skills, assets and capacities),
  • Learnings from the recovering community can
    contribute to
  • Instillation of hope (non-illusory hope),
  • Identification of recovery capital
  • Building robust and more accessible recovery
    pathways

15
Putting the vision into practice
  • Provide opportunities for gaining relevant
    knowledge and skills and for participation and
    empowerment
  • Starting with the proposition that experts by
    experience have the requisite competencies and
    capacities to take on valued and meaningful roles
  • Designed situations where the object of the
    research has the opportunity to become the
    researcher
  • In Australia, lived addiction and recovery
    experiences were key criteria in staff
    selection
  • Experientialists participated fully in the design
    and review of the instruments
  • Study data is being collected by trained
    experientialists
  • The experientialist is empowered through taking
    on a high status role

16
Putting the vision into practice
  • Continue to raise awareness and disseminate
    knowledge in an effort to assist people affected
    to take better control over their lives, to
    become familiar with ways of thinking about
    their condition and to better understand and
    make a decision to embrace the need for an
    emancipatory movement
  • Findings are being and will be interpreted,
    reported and disseminated from and for both the
    scientific and experientialist perspective.
  • A key imperative of this research is to provide
    the findings of what is perceived and experienced
    by people - directly back to the people affected

17
The experiential body of knowledge
  • Definitions of recovery
  • Biggest challenges, reasons for relapse
  • Strategies for living and lessons learned
  • Essential supports, recovery capital
  • Rewards the fruits of recovery
  • Conceptions of what constitutes quality of life /
    well being
  • Conceptions of meaning of life issues,
    spirituality, reason for being
  • Determinants / predictors of long term recovery
  • Development of a politics of emancipation
    through equal partnerships between the
    researchers and the researched

18
NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US
19
PATHWAYS
  • For correspondence
  • gstorey_at_sharc.org.au
  • laudet_at_ndri.org
  • For copies of the presentations and findings to
    date
  • www.ndri.org/ctrs/cstar.html
  • SHARC website
  • www.sharc.org.au
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