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Title page for ETD etd-10162018-132848

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lyew, Dominique Andreuille
Author's Email Address dominique.a.lyew@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-10162018-132848
Title Community Research and Epistemic Justice in Jamaica
Degree Master of Science
Department Community Research and Action
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Douglas D Perkins Committee Chair
Ashley Carse Committee Member
  • empowerment
  • community development
  • community research
  • epistemic justice
  • decolonizing
  • Caribbean
Date of Defense 2018-10-11
Availability unrestricted
In the broad field of community research (CR), epistemic justice is often considered to be an issue at the community level. That is, the more empowering methodologies are used, the more CR should contribute to epistemic justice. Through understanding the experience of a CR researcher, we are able to understand the barriers and opportunities for CR to contribute to global epistemic justice. Currently little research in the field focuses on the barriers or opportunities researchers encounter, even less attention is paid to the barriers faced by researchers who are subject to global influences on their work. This study explores the barriers and opportunities for CR in Jamaica, a brief history of CR in Jamaica, as well as the extent to which CR is seen as empowering and decolonizing. Jamaican community researchers face local, institutional, and global barriers including: funding from international donors, local politics, community trust, physical access to communities, community norms, and academic barriers to publishing based on hegemonic standards. Opportunities for CR include: community gatekeepers, university support, some forms of funding, the drive and adaptability of researchers, as well as government support. CR is considered a way to move towards decolonizing research, and a way to empower communities. However, researchers face barriers at the global levels that hinder the decolonizing and empowering potential of this work. This study has implications for supporting community researchers in Jamaica specifically but more broadly could be applied to supporting researchers in the Caribbean or other Global South contexts in which research is underfunded.
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