Original Research

Empowering marginalised groups through co-operative inquiry: Illustrated by a practical example

Jerome P. Fredericks, Surona Visagie, Lana van Niekerk, Hamilton G. Pharaoh
African Journal of Disability | Vol 13 | a1205 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v13i0.1205 | © 2024 Jerome P. Fredericks, Surona Visagie, Lana van Niekerk, Hamilton G. Pharaoh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 March 2023 | Published: 26 February 2024

About the author(s)

Jerome P. Fredericks, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Surona Visagie, Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Lana van Niekerk, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Hamilton G. Pharaoh, Communities of Excellence and Chairman Founder, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Cooperative inquiry gives a voice to marginalised groups and breaks down power imbalances which makes it suitable for researching practical issues at community level.

Objectives: The objective of this article is to illustrate how cooperative inquiry can be utilised to empower members of marginalised communities in facilitating social change.

Method: The study setting is in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. A cooperative inquiry methodology was used. The inquiry group consisted of wheelchair users (9), their care givers (8), taxi drivers (7) and stakeholders (4). Data collection comprised 16 sessions, alternating between action and reflection. Inductive thematic analysis of data of all the phases was done to ensure that cooperative inquiry gives voice to marginalised communities.

Results: The four themes that is, practical arrangements, understanding process, purpose, bonding and a cohesive group were identified. The themes showed progress from logistics, through individual understanding, to the group becoming one, and working together. Each of these phases is important in the development of a cooperative inquiry.

Conclusion: Cooperative inquiry methodology can bring people together in a positive way to facilitate social change, and developing practical solutions to challenges.

Contribution: Making use of a cooperative inquiry methodology to bring social change, minibus taxi services can be made accessible for wheelchair users. Concepts of social justice and decolonisation were imbued in the methodology.


Keywords

wheelchair users; minibus taxis drivers, caregivers; access; accessibility; transport.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

Metrics

Total abstract views: 443
Total article views: 303


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.