Interventional Systems Ethnography and Intersecting Injustices: A New Approach for Fostering Reciprocal Community Engagement

Danielle DeVasto, S. Scott Graham, Daniel Card, Molly Kessler


Effectively addressing wicked problems requires collaborative, embedded action. But, in many cases, scholarly commitments, social justice, privilege, and precarity collide in ways that make it difficult for community-engaged scholars to ethically navigate competing duties. This article presents our efforts to support reciprocal community engagement in addressing cancer-obesity comorbidity and risk coincidence in underserved communities. Partnering with community healthcare professionals, we conducted an adapted Systems Ethnography/Qualitative Modeling (SEQM) study. SEQM offers an alternative ethical framework for community-engaged research, one that supports reciprocity through enabling participant-centered community self-definition, goal setting, and solution identification.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.