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Open Access Decolonization of knowledge, epistemicide, participatory research and higher education

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This article raises questions about what the word 'knowledge' refers to. Drawn from some 40 years of collaborative work on knowledge democracy, the authors suggest that higher education institutions today are working with a very small part of the extensive and diverse knowledge systems in the world. Following from de Sousa Santos, they illustrate how Western knowledge has been engaged in epistemicide, or the killing of other knowledge systems. Community-based participatory research is about knowledge as an action strategy for change and about the rendering visible of the excluded knowledges of our remarkable planet. Knowledge stories, theoretical dimensions of knowledge democracy and the evolution of community-based participatory research partnerships are highlighted.

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Keywords: COMMUNITY-BASED; DECOLONIZATION OF KNOWLEDGE; EPISTEMICIDE; KNOWLEDGE DEMOCRACY; PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • Research for All is now published by UCL Press. New issues and all the back content shown here are available through ScienceOpen and accessed from the journal's page at UCL Press

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    Research for All is supporting the 16th International conference for Public Communication of Science and Technology being held in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, 26–28 May 2020. Authors of contributions presented at the conference are invited subsequently to submit papers to Research for All for a special feature on Public Communication of Science and Technology.

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