Acknowledging privilege through encounters with difference: Participatory Learning and Action techniques for decolonizing methodologies in Southern contexts

01 Feb 2013

Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) research techniques can contribute to decolonising methodologies by alerting participants to privilege and marginalisation through encounters across difference. Consciousness of privileges is often obscured and naturalised as part of normative expectations of everyday living. This paper contends that no one is exempt from interrogating their positionality and their beliefs, and that PLA research techniques can provide the means by which people can be confronted with privileges and marginality through encountering the ‘other’. A case study conducted across Higher Education Institutions in South Africa is presented to show how PLA techniques can make a substantial contribution to processes of research. The case study shows how PLA research techniques make it possible to bring people together to confront differential privileges, thus giving people the opportunity to become both insiders and committed outsiders in their interactions across differences.