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Empowerment has emerged in recent years as a popular strategy for addressing social issues. A potential intervention approach for applied researchers interested in studying empowerment is participatory research (PR). PR is a theory and intervention approach for involving oppressed people in the study of and solutions to social problems. It is a strategy that works to transform social structure to benefit oppressed people.

This article examines PR's contribution to a conceptualization of empowerment on both a theoretical and applied level. First, PR literature and its conceptualization of empowerment are described. Following this, PR is proposed as an intervention approach for applied researchers interested in studying empowerment. A case study involving the formation of a Homeless Persons Union is provided as an example of applied PR.