Visualizing access: knowledge development in university–community partnerships

Roni Strier, Dorit Shechter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article tackles the need to democratize processes of knowledge production in the context of university–community partnerships. These partnerships, which are a rich source of academic research, allow universities to create more reciprocal relationships with communities, especially those affected by social inequalities. Through their social engagement and programmatic efforts, universities strive to increase the level of community access to educational, economic, and even political resources. However, from the community perspective, the production of knowledge still remains an academic privilege, a privilege to which community members lack any access. This article presents a case study in the context of a long-term university–community partnership in which activist women living in poverty became involved in the production of knowledge. Findings refer to four main challenges in the process of co-production of knowledge with excluded populations: overcoming community antagonism and lack of trust toward academic research, engaging the community in the research process, grappling with ethical and practical issues in the process of knowledge dissemination and finally making research matters for social change. The article voices the need to develop more inclusive, action-oriented and accessible methods for knowledge production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-359
Number of pages17
JournalHigher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Community-based research
  • Photovoice
  • Poverty
  • Researchers–participants relations
  • Social exclusion
  • University–community partnership
  • Visual research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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