Designing Psychological Co-research of Emancipatory-Technical Relevance Across Age Thresholds
The requirement that theoretical and empirical research is to sustainably benefit not only the nominal researcher, but also the other research participants, is deeply embedded in the conceptual-analytical framework of Psychology from the Standpoint of the Subject (PSS) and its co-researcher principle. PSS research is thus to be of emancipatory relevance to those others the researcher comes to collaborate with. Meanwhile, the question of how this requirement can be prospectively integrated into the design of a research project remains subject to debate. This question emerges as particularly difficult to tackle in research projects that engage in co-research with young children: How can a researcher ensure that the young children s-he works togethe with benefit from the research project? Based on the critical analysis of an earlier research project implemented by the author, the contribution at hand suggests that PSS’ foundational notion of emancipatory relevance needs to be revisited. It argues that if a research project is to sustainably benefit young co-researchers, the technical relevance of the expected mutual emancipation should as well be explicitly considered in the project design. A discussion of recent methodological developments in child-targeted Participatory Design (PD) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) serve as inspiration for this conceptual specification. The contribution thereby invites co-research to further investigate how emancipatory relevance cannot only to be methodologically attained via dissemination of research results and conceptual developments, but also via the actual research process it attempts to engage the co-researchers in irrespective of their age.
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