From the Editor’s desk: Students Against Nicotine

As I consider the papers of 9 (1), issues of inter-subjectivity leap to mind. By inter-subjectivity I mean the ways in which we as researchers interact, later I will use the word “commune,” with research subjects. Conventional research training prompts us to treat research subjects as passive, albeit, respected objects of data collection. Action research acknowledges the subjectivity of the research subjects, which in interaction with ourselves, becomes inter-subjective inquiry.  Our engagement as persons first and foremost allows for knowledge to be shared that otherwise might have gotten lost.
Consider the Tai Mendenhall, Peter Harper, Heather Stephenson, and G. Santo Haas paper, entitled: “The SANTA Project (Students Against Nicotine and Tobacco Addiction): Using community-based participatory research to reduce smoking in a high-risk young adult population.”  This is another excellent example of potential partnership between medical and action research approaches that together can tackle chronic illness or contributors to chronic illness as with the smoking cessation program described here.  Thus we see efforts at systems modification rather than solely disease modification.  Systems change starts, ironically, at the interpersonal level – by having ordinary citizens activated as co-producers of their own health.  Once again we see an integrative, inter-subjective and successful systems change.  One system at a time.

Read for yourself:

Hilary Bradbury-Huang, Ph.D.
Editor, ARJ
Oregon Health Sciences University