“I could probably live to be 100”: An Embodied Approach to Action-Oriented Research with Vulnerable Populations

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Kathryn Yankura Swacha


Action-oriented research strives to include vulnerable populations’ voices and to ensure reciprocity between academic and non-academic stakeholders to address complex problems. Challenges persist, however, in engaging community members beyond experts and reconciling differences in the timetables of such work. This article proposes an embodied approach to action-oriented research with vulnerable populations that calls attention to the situated, embodied aspects of the smaller moments through which complex problems are lived. By analyzing a case study of a project at a senior center for disadvantaged older adults—with a particular focus on time, place, and bodies—the piece articulates the implications of such an approach for theory, methodology, and practice in both localized contexts and RHM more broadly.

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