The work of the Welfare Warriors Research Collaborative (WWRC), a participatory action research (PAR) project that looks at how low income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming (LG-BTGNC) people survive and resist violence and discrimination in New York City, raises the question of what it means to make conscientization, or critical consciousness, a core feature of PAR. Guishard's (2009) reconceptualization of conscientization as “moments of consciousness” provides a new way of looking at what seemed to be missing from WWRC's process and analysis. According to Guishard, rather than a singular awakening, critical consciousness emerges continually through interactions with others and the social context. Analysis of the WWRC's process demonstrates that PAR researchers doing “PAR deep” (Fine, 2008)—research in which community members share in all aspects of design, method, analysis and product development—should have an agenda for developing critical consciousness, just as they would have agendas for participation, for action, and for research.
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