Transmedia, bridges, and layers (oh my) – A new publication on Knowledge Mobilisation and Action Research

Colin Anderson Uncategorized Leave a Comment

video-4A new article in the Action Research Journal uses a case study approach to present three key knowledge mobilization strategies that can be used to mobilise knowledge in processes of social change:

  • using transmedia to exchange knowledge across a range of communication media;
  • building bridges to invite communication amongst diverse knowledge communities; and
  • layering to communicate knowledge at varying levels of detail.

Mainstream research and scientific communication focus on transferring expert knowledge to a deficient public – a hierarchical and one way transfer of knowledge.

In contrast, knowledge mobilization processes involve close collaboration between researchers and community actors as co-enquirers as a part of a broader agenda for progressive social change. They involve strategic communication strategies that mobilize knowledge beyond those directly involved in the research process.

figureIn this article, we illustrate the cyclical nature of knowledge mobilization processes through a reflective case study of a participatory action research program in the Canadian Prairies.

We critically examine our own practice as a contested and partial process in tension with the hostile institutional and cultural structures in science and universities that promote a linear knowledge transfer paradigm. This context  supports the monopoly of knowledge held by experts and marginalizes other knowledge holders and ways of knowing.

Knowledge mobilization strategies provide a framework to implement research methods, communication processes, and outcomes that are high in impact and relevant in struggles for a more just and resilient society.

Anderson, C. R., & McLachlan, S. M. (2015). Transformative research as knowledge mobilization: Transmedia, bridges, and layers. Action Research, 14(3), 295-317. doi:10.1177/1476750315616684

Available to download here:

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