Insider Research on Migration and Mobility

International Perspectives on Researcher Positioning

Insider Research on Migration and Mobility LOOK INSIDE
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  • Edited by Lejla Voloder, University of South Australia, Australia and Liudmila Kirpitchenko, Deakin University, Australia
  • Series: Studies in Migration and Diaspora
  • With an increasing proportion of migration and mobility field studies being conducted by migrants and members of ethnic minorities in 'home' contexts, the implications of 'insider research' are increasingly subject critical scrutiny. Researchers who may share migration experiences or cultural, ethnic, linguistic or religious identities with their participants are exploring the means, ethics and politics of mobilizing ‘insider capital’ for the purpose of gaining access to and representing research participants.

    Bringing together the latest international scholarship in the sociology and anthropology of migration, this volume explores the complexities, joys and frustrations of conducting ‘insider’ research. The book offers analyses of key methodological, ethical and epistemological challenges faced by migration researchers as they question the ways in which they come to identify with their research topic or their participants.

    Addressing questions of identity and categorization, ethics and methodology, epistemology and situated knowledge, Insider Research on Migration and Mobility will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in migration, mobilities, diaspora studies and ethnic and racial identities, as well as those interested in qualitative research design and analysis.
  • Contents: Introduction: insiderness in migration and mobility research: conceptual considerations, Lejla Voloder; Part I Dimensions of Insiderness: Negotiating aboriginal participation in research: dilemmas and opportunities, Michele Lobo; Cosmopolitan engagement in researching race relations in New Zealand, Farisa Fozdar; In the tide between being an insider and outsider: experiences from research on international student mobility in Germany, Basak Bilecen; Conducting qualitative research: dancing a tango between insider- and outsiderness, Christof Van Mol, Rilke Mahieu, Helene Marie-Lou De Clerck, Edith Piqueray, Joris Wauters, François Levrau, Els Vanderwaeren and Joris Michielsen. Part II Researching Home and Community: Behind the emic lines: ethics and politics of insiders’ ethnography, Hariz Halilovich; Close, closer, closest: participant observation at home, Efrat Tzadik-Fallik; Emotive connections: insider research with Turkish/Kurdish Alevi migrants in Germany, Derya Ozkul. Part III Producing Self, Producing Others: Between suspicion and trust: fieldwork in the Australian-Hungarian community, Petra Andits; Interrupting anonymity: the researcher in an expatriate community, Angela Lehmann; Black on Black: insider positionality and the Black African migrant research experience in Australia, Virginia Mapedzahama and Kwamena Kwansah-Aidoo; Academic intercultural encounters and cosmopolitan knowledge translation, Liudmila Kirpitchenko; Index.
  • About the Editor: Lejla Voloder is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia, Australia.

    Liudmila Kirpitchenko is Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University, Australia.
  • Reviews: ‘Drawing from a range of case studies, this important collection challenges the traditional binaries of insider/outsider status in research. Written in intelligent but clear prose, Insider Research on Migration and Mobility will have resonance for researchers, trainees, and others interested in learning more about the research experience and about research processes in a globalized world.’
    Denise L. Spitzer, University of Ottawa, Canada

    ‘Social-scientific knowledge is always relational and positional. In this important collection, the authors brought together by Voloder and Kirpitchenko help us understand the complexities of “insiderness”. Qualitative research to understand the meaning of social action is crucial, but can only succeed when researchers are willing to negotiate their own positionality, and to accept the active role of research participants.’
    Stephen Castles, University of Sydney, Australia

    'I would recommend this book to anyone researching within the fields of migration or mobility, and also to those who have a broader interest in researcher positioning. Firstly, the diversity of research contexts offers a broad spectrum of recent research that does not limit itself geographically or contextually. Additionally, the chapters are engaging in their description and analysis of the case studies. Thirdly - and somewhat enlightening for this reader, as a researcher within a migration context - this book goes some way towards examining what researcher positioning can offer to the study itself.'
    LSE Review of Books

    'This collection of young scholars gives a lively overview of research positioning, claiming more recognition for this dialectic approach. … Insider Research on Migration and Mobility provides an important and timely contribution through its strong acknowledgement of fluidity between insiderness and outsiderness in the process of qualitative data collection. Ultimately, the book provides an excellent introduction to the field of positioning, not only for those interested in the complexities of insiderness, shifting power relations, and ethnicity, but also for those who perform research in the field of mobility studies.'
    Border Criminologies