Practising sensitive research

18 October 2018:

Birgit Poopuu, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, discusses dialogical research design and presents her research project concerning protest activity in Syria.

In her project, this design encompasses: a Board composed of local activists and consultations with a psychologist aimed at increasing awareness and learning techniques of how to cope with research in vulnerable contexts. Birgit asks how these practices might alleviate the harmful effects of doing research in vulnerable contexts.

A dialogical approach suggests that the study of social phenomena should follow the logic of co-being, the understanding of radical interdependency and emphatic relationships when it comes to onto-epistemological but also practical research steps. Dialogue as a concept will function as the guiding principle of my upcoming work on the Syrian revolution. This talk explores how dialogue is translated into theoretical and practical steps that will allow for research that is integrally ethical, useful and safe(r). Birgit argues that due to putting research as a relation front and centre, the conceptualised and practiced research should be less harmful to both the researcher and the research participants.

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