The possibilities and constraints of service user research collaborations

The Peer Qualitative Research Group

Authored by: Jijian Voronka , Jill Grant , Deb Wise Harris , Arianna Kennedy , Janina Komaroff

The Routledge Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138360143
eBook ISBN: 9780429433306
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores both the possibilities and constraints of developing a service user research group within the context of a larger mental health and homeless research project. Described is the importance of creating a service user-only research group, and how we rationalized the need for such a research group to a larger research team through a case study of the Peer Qualitative Research Group. This chapter discusses some process learnings, successes, and limitations of developing this research team and contextualizes these limits within broader academic constraints of research production and disciplinary demands. Despite these limits, this chapter argues that service user research and knowledge offer vital teaching and learning tools that help unsettle notions of expertise in human service education and beyond.

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