Conference Program

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Session Overview - All times EDT

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4.2.3: Decolonizing Research Methods for the Global South - Workshop
Thursday, 03/June/2021:
12:30pm - 2:00pm

Technical chair: valerie charest
Location: Room 3

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(conference registration required)


4.2.3: Decolonizing Research Methods for the Global South - Workshop

Chairs: Sumeet Sekhon1, Navjotpal Kaur2

1The University of British Columbia (Okanagan), Canada; 2Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada


For graduate students conducting fieldwork for the first time, balancing the emotional, ethical, and relational complexity of research can be challenging. Furthermore, when a student trained in the Western academy undertakes fieldwork in the global South, the stark difference between expectation and reality can be disorientating, which can present grounds for possible ethnographic errors. This workshop is aimed at deconstructing the principles, objectives, and values that constitute empirical practices/research methods in the West. More specifically, the workshop facilitators will use a decolonizing framework to explore the concepts of reflexivity, betweenness, situated knowledge, and positionality in terms of the practical challenges of conducting fieldwork in the global South. The goal of the workshop is to sensitize and expand Western research practices to the field realities of the global South, and to prepare early career scholars for unexpected encounters in the field. This workshop will be especially useful for those who are planning to work with marginalised and vulnerable populations as it will enable participants to acknowledge, and deal with, the emotional and ethical dilemmas they are likely to face in the field.

Participant engagement:

Participants will be organised into groups or pairs (depending on the number of participants), and asked to reflect on their experiences of fieldwork, or plans for carrying out fieldwork, using the concepts discussed during the workshop. Participants will also be asked to reflect on templates of ethics approval applications from their respective universities/institutions.

Intended audience:

Graduate students, early career academics, and practitioners with research interests in the global South.

Materials provided:

Each participant will receive an electronic copy of:

(1) Handouts to be used during the lecture portions of the workshop

(2) Questions and prompts to be used during the pair/group discussion portion of the workshop