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This paper is about engaged scholarship and a university-community initiative as an example of research collaboration. It addresses the negative perceptions community activists hold concerning researchers, the development of the research relationship with the community organization and the reactions of academic researchers within the research team. The paper covers the first four months of developing a partnership between the University of South Florida ( and an organization that works against domestic violence, CASA ( Using narratives, I explore issues such as incentives and barriers for the community agency to collaborate with the university and for university faculty to pursue a research project. Relationships and impressions are the focus of this paper. This paper is an attempt to be reflexive about the process of developing a partnership and to show rather than tell the reader about the process, with the hope that our examples may inspire others to reflect on the process of their projects. The observation of participation and co-production of knowledge (Tedlock, 2000) are particularly important for this project since the community partners were concerned about developing a relationship with researchers and assuring that the research would be conducted with full understanding of the context of domestic violence.


Conference paper from NCA (National Communication Association), 2001 Conference Panel, Ethnography Division