Psychosocial research and action with survivors of political violence in Latin America: methodological considerations and implications for practice

Research with survivors of political violence in Latin America have shown that any analysis of the consequences of war or political repression should take into account the social and political realities in which the survivors are immersed. It has also shown that research must go hand in hand with action, intervention and psychosocial support for communities that confront violence. In this article, the authors review some of the basic principles that should guide research and action within the context of war or other political violence. We discuss the roles that the researcher needs to adopt in order to successfully develop work that will be of use to the social and scientific community. In addition, we describe some of the methodological implications of psychosocial research and the importance of reflective processes that could contribute to community wellbeing. The theoretical descriptions are substantiated through examples of action research in Jujuy (Argentina) with former political prisoners and relatives of detainees, or the disappeared, from the time of the last military dictatorship (1976–1983).

 

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Martínez, Maitane Arnoso; Eiroá-Orosa, Francisco José