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Action Research and Public Relations: Dialogue, Peer Learning, and the Issue of Alcohol

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  • Education
  • Philosophy


This paper presents an action research project, which transformed dialogic techniques used policy making and community development into an innovative approach to education about alcohol. The project was developed by a group of teenage volunteers, the AlcoLOLs, and two public relations researchers, tested in a local school, presented at the Scottish Parliament to policy stakeholders concerned with alcohol, and subsequently extended to a number of schools across the city of Edinburgh (Scotland). The paper makes a contribution to public relations by offering a detailed analytical account of dialogue as a method of inquiry and a mechanism for change. The paper also introduces the concept of extended epistemology as a fresh perspective on the phenomenon of relationship and on relationship management. Finally, the paper argues that action research has the transformative potential for the development of academic knowledge in the field and as an approach to education and training of practitioners.

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