Session: Navigating, Subverting, and Replacing Conventional Academic Productivity Expectations to Co-Create with PAR Teams (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

182 Navigating, Subverting, and Replacing Conventional Academic Productivity Expectations to Co-Create with PAR Teams

Friday, January 13, 2023: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Ahwatukee B, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods
Kimberly Bender, PhD, University of Denver
Ramona Beltran, PhD, University of Denver, Anna Ortega-Williams, PhD, Hunter College School of Social Work, Danielle Littman, A.M., LCSW, University of Denver, Alex Wagaman, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University and Laura Wernick, PhD, Fordham University
Participatory action research (PAR) is a research methodology that uses collective and endemic knowledge to inform emancipatory projects and generate action to address social concerns. Methodologically rooted in critical, constructivist, and action-oriented epistemologies (Chataway, 1997; Crotty, 1998; Lewin, 1946; Torre, Fine, Stoudt, & Fox, 2012), PAR prioritizes building supportive relationships, as it centers community empowerment, social justice, and frames learning as an ongoing process (Nelson, 1998) of reciprocal education (Ochocka et al., 2010).

Although SSWR calls for social work science to battle inequities and build solutions (efforts in direct alignment with PAR aims and processes), few academic institutions, publication outlets, or funding mechanisms have elevated PAR work structurally. With a growing number of social work scholars embracing PAR approaches in their work, they are left to individually navigate the tensions between conventional academic productivity expectations (e.g., pressures to publish, obtain funding, establish leadership in their scholarship) and the collective power-sharing values and practices of PAR, which often require slow, intentional, non-linear collaboration (referred to in Bergold and Thomas's 2012 work as "a methodological approach in motion" [p. 191]).

This roundtable will include university-based PAR scholars at various career stages, and from a variety of academic institutions, to share their experiences, challenges, successes and recommendations for change. The roundtable will begin with introductions as university-based PAR scholars share the story of their PAR projects and partnerships. Five presenters will share about PAR projects in partnership with/focused on: youth and young adult homelessness, youth organizing against anti-Black racism and social justice, peer support and elevating lived expertise in homeless services, Indigenous health and environmental justice, and the impact of community organizing on youth organizers' mental health and well-being. While all of the invited scholars engage in work that is grounded in the community, the primary focus of this roundtable will be the university setting implications - a setting that holds disproportionate power and resources in PAR work.

We will then use the following questions to structure a discussion among roundtable members and joiners:

* What constraints and tensions do university-based PAR researchers experience in attempting to meet conventional academic productivity expectations (amount, type, pace, authorship of products)?

* What strategies have university-based PAR researchers employed to navigate or subvert conventional academic expectations while co-creating with their PAR teams?

* What structural changes (e.g., to hiring, promotion, resource allocation) are necessary, within the academy, to elevate PAR work and make it more possible for university-based researchers to conduct PAR and thrive in the academy?

Notes will be taken throughout the roundtable and, with permission from attendees, learnings will be shared for action. This will include sharing of strategies (via social media) for other PAR scholars to navigate the productivity expectations of the academy while staying true to the values of PAR work. Suggestions for structural changes will also be shared with the National Association of Deans and Directors (NADD) to advocate for change in schools of social work and beyond.

See more of: Roundtables