New Sites, New Challenges? Ethical and Methodological Questions in the Context of Research on Migration Exclusion

Achermann, Christin; Affolter, Nora; Borrelli, Lisa Marie; Eule, Tobias Georg; Häberli, Jana; Rezzonico, Laura (June 2015). New Sites, New Challenges? Ethical and Methodological Questions in the Context of Research on Migration Exclusion (Unpublished). In: 12th IMISCOE Annual Conference on „Rights, Democracy and Migration“. Geneva. 25.-27.06.2015.

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The challenges of research ethics and methodologies have been reflected on extensively, but – aside from the context of feminist methodologies – less so in relation to research on particular migration sites such as in transit, detention centres, at the borders or within migration administration. First attempts in this direction have been made (Düvell et al. 2010, Fresia et al. 2005, Riedner 2014, van Liempt/Bilger2009), however, more reflection and theorization is needed, considering the contested nature of these temporal and volatile sites. In this workshop, we thus aim at examining methodological as well as ethical questions that arise during field work: We attempt to reflect the power relations involved in the research process, the ethics of research design, the dissemination of research results, the question of gaining access to and – whenever necessary – staying in contact with our research subjects. How can we negotiate informed consent with subjects whose life is currently marked by transit and insecurity concerning their own future, and who are in an uncertain situation in which substantial information (legal, social, cultural etc.) is likely to be missing? How do we deal with the dilemma of possibly contributing to knowledge production that might facilitate removals and deportations in the future, considering that the reception of the results is not in the hands of the researchers? How do we deal with the anticipated as well as unexpected impacts of our research on social and political practice? Regarding fieldwork in state institutions, how do we negotiate the multiple loyalties we often find ourselves faced with as social researchers, both with the excluded migrants and with the authorities implementing the exclusions – two groupings considered to be opposite to each other (Lavanchy 2013)? Which different roles do researchers need to take on? The aim of our workshop is first and foremost to exchange experiences on fieldwork with others doing qualitative research on related topics and to consider its possible implications – including affective dimensions – for all participants involved in the research process: the migrants, the security staff of detention centres, its social workers, border police and bureaucrats and, last but not least, the researchers themselves. Furthermore, we generally wish to reflect upon the question of how best to conduct research in this contested field, applying an interdisciplinary perspective.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
02 Faculty of Law > Department of Legal Theory and History of Law > Legal and Political Theory

UniBE Contributor:

Affolter, Nora; Borrelli, Lisa Marie and Eule, Tobias Georg

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 340 Law
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Wyss

Date Deposited:

27 Apr 2016 13:59

Last Modified:

27 Apr 2016 13:59

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79548

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