In 2005, in the Journal of Urban Health, Meredith Minkler published an article entitled, Community Based Research Partnerships, Challenges and Opportunities. In her article Minkler, a professor of health and social behavior at U.C. Berkely, she attempts to summarize the purpose of community based participatory research (CBPR) and extoll its many perceived virtues. She gives the reader a basic historical understanding of CBPRs before moving on to explaining the core principles involved and finally, demonstrating how successful they can be when applied to urban areas.
During a careful analysis of her article, Minklers purpose and audience seem to become abundantly clear. Minkler appears to be trying to communicate to an academic audience, meaning that her intended audience is scholars or urban officials who would be likely to have seen the original article. Her purpose, it seems, is to convince those with a say to adopt the change to CBPR and fight to reform the way research is undertaken in communities. She further goes on to make her own thesis, fairly self-evident by explaining that, “CBPR offers an exceptional opportunity for partnering with communities in ways that can enhance both the quality of research and its potential for helping address some of our most intractable urban health problems.” (pg. 236)
However, there are a great many flaws in Minklers proposal. Not the last of which she herself outlined. She stated quite clearly that, “ Although the renewed interest in CBPR provides a welcome contrast to traditional top down research approaches, it also increases the dangers of co-optation as this label is loosely applied to include research and intervention efforts in search of funding that do not truly meet the criteria for this approach.” This means that people may use this tactic in an effort to secure funding not covered within the confines of their original mandate.
In Conclusion, Minkler is suggesting to an academic audience of scholars and...