Josefina Bañales: Critical consciousness || Participatory action research

In this episode, we talked to Josefina Bañales who is an Assistant Professor in the Community and Prevention Research Area at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC, U.S.). Our main topics are critical consciousness and how social scientists can learn ‘with’, ‘from’ and ‘from within’ marginalized communities through participatory action research.

PAST (00:02:03): Josefina describes her personal connection and dedication to the wellbeing and liberation of low-income, communities of color and how sharing people’s stories has helped create knowledge about her own and other communities

PRESENT (00:22:38): We discuss the article by Watts & Flanagan (2007) about youth civic engagement and how youth have opportunities to develop critical understandings of oppression shape whether and how they engage in behaviors to challenge social justice

FUTURE (00:44:14): Josefina emphasizes the need for more youth participatory action research to bring about social change and for looking into intersectionality to actually contribute positively to the communities and the lives of people of color that we research

Learn the Term (plain language):

  • critical consciousness: Awareness of oppression and working against oppression together
  • marginalized: Undervalued, in a powerless position (social, political, economic)
  • participatory action research: The collaboration between (young) participants and researcher to take action and understand social issues
  • intersectionality: the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and that categories such as gender, race and class are overlapping in discrimination or disadvantage

Full reference of this episode’s articles:

Bañales, J., Aldana, A., Richards‐Schuster, K., Flanagan, C. A., Diemer, M. A., & Rowley, S. J. (2021). Youth anti‐racism action: Contributions of youth perceptions of school racial messages and critical consciousness. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(8), 3079–3100.

Stuart, J., & Ward, C. (2011). A Question of Balance: Exploring the Acculturation, Watts, R. J., & Flanagan, C. (2007). Pushing the envelope on youth civic engagement: A developmental and liberation psychology perspective. Journal of Community Psychology, 35(6), 779–792.