Community case study research: researcher operacy embeddedness and making research matter

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Dredge, D, Hales, R & Tazim, J 2013, 'Community case study research: researcher operacy embeddedness and making research matter', Tourism Analysis, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 29-43.

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Research performance is increasingly measured in terms of the number of publications, the quality of the outlet, citations, and other key performance indicators. This performance-driven approach means that output is viewed as the object of research rather than the knowledge created and researchers adopting methodologies that do not easily fit within this neoliberal paradigm experience tensions and dilemmas. This article argues that researchers should be directly engaged, often embedded in the community, as a methodological necessity of social research: the researcher's positionality involves a critical self-reflexive stance towards knowledge production and transformative change—it enables an ethical stance on the politics of placemaking and the discursive constructions by self and other, and facilitates responsibility to social action (performative praxis). On a practical note, tourism community case study has rewards and benefits for research productivity over the long term. Deep engagement in the complexities of wicked problems closes the gap between research and practice; allows personal and professional growth through reflexive engagement; assists exploring alternative knowledge; and increases the capacity for knowledge sharing and coproduction of knowledge. Researchers' self-reflexive accounts of engaging in embedded tourism case study are offered to illustrate the politics of coknowledge production, performative action, and change.

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