Choreographing a different dance:: Placing research in the public arena

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Abstract

Geographers increasingly advocate placing research in the public arena and the creation of work that is useful for public policy makers. Existing literature indicates some approaches that have bearing on these goals, such as using participatory action research, clarifying positionality, and attending to the nature of discourse. It does not, however, generally offer empirical cases of addressing the goals being advocated. This article narrates an experience of a collaborative effort among two institutes for research on women and a community funding agency as they created and disseminated research aiming to influence public opinion and foster advocacy in support of policies to improve women's lives. Among the issues addressed are the importance of networking, of identifying effective partners, of adapting research to incorporate the priorities of stakeholders, and of engaging the support of media professionals. It discusses barriers encountered, strategies adopted to address them, and compromises in the process.

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