The cyclical process of action research: the contribution of Gilles Deleuze: the contribution of Gilles Deleuze

John S. Drummond, Markus Themessl-Huber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Action Research is normally described as both a cyclical process and a participatory (democratic/egalitarian) undertaking. This article does not seek to contest the idiosyncrasies and pragmatics of the cyclical process involved in action research. Rather, it seeks to enrich it by developing further the idea of action research as a process that engages with problems and learning in the act of creating change. To do this we draw primarily on aspects of the work of the French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze. Deleuze has argued that all learning is essentially a direct apprentice-type engagement with the problematic nature of the material or project under consideration. We argue that an explication of what Deleuze means by this can augment our understanding of the contingencies involved in both the participatory and cyclical dimensions of action research. To give explanatory substance to Deleuze's potential contribution to action research, we use illustrative moments based on a hypothetical scenario of the development of a large piece of waste-ground into a community gardening project. We seek to connect aspects of Deleuzian philosophy to the cyclical process of action research to show the dynamic relationship between action researchers and an action research project. Our argument is that in doing this, an understanding of the variables involved in the cyclical process of action research may be enhanced.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)430-448
    Number of pages19
    JournalAction Research
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Action research
    • Deleuze, Gilles, 1925-1995


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