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Method 4: Situated knowledge

This group is interested in knowledge and practice as a situated phenomenon. The object of our study is situations that include multiple problematiques, with security being one amongst others. More

Rose (1997) Situating knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics

This article addresses the discussion, particularly prominent among feminist geograph- ers, of reflexivity as a strategy for marking geographical knowledges as situated. It argues that, if the aim of feminist and other critical geographies is to acknowledge their partiality, then the particular form of reflexivity advocated needs careful consideration. Feminist geographers most often recommend a kind of reflexivity that aims, even if only ideally, at a full understanding of the researcher, the researched and the research context. The article begins with the author's failure at that kind of reflexivity, and that particular reflexivity is then discussed and described as `transparent' in its ambitious claims to comprehensive knowledge. The article then goes on to explore critiques of transparent reflexivity, many of which have been made by feminist geographers themselves. The article concludes by suggesting that some recent discussions of the uncertainties of research practice offer another model of feminist reflexivity that may succeed more effectively in questioning the researcher's practice of knowledge production.

Stuvoey (2010) Human Security Research Practices: Conceptualizing Security for Women’s Crisis Centres in Russia

Suggested reading material for methods course

Stuvoey, K. (2010) "Human Security Research Practices: Conceptualizing Security for Women’s Crisis Centres in Russia" Security Dialogue. Vol. 41(3): 279–299

In ongoing discussions surrounding the issue of human security, the security of individuals has become entangled in conceptual debates that are preoccupied with notions of appropriate variables, measure- ments and issue areas. This article suggests and illustrates a basis for human security research that is distinct from such objectivist empiri- cism. A case study of crisis centres in northwest Russia is used to demonstrate that human security is not only a matter for objectified generalizations, but also a question of practices.

On participatory research and the 'third space'

Today I just read again the draft that Lara sent us some months ago. There she makes an argument against participatory observation – which is becoming so popular now in IR and Security studies – saying that this method draws a line between the observer and the observed. Yet more important, participatory observation means that the observer can afford not to be always connected with those observed – she can always leave the site, unlike the people for which the ‘site’ is a daily struggle.

Coutin and Hirsch (1998) Naming Resistance: Ethnographers, Dissidents, and States

Coutin, Susan B., and Hirsch, Susan F. (1998) "Naming resistance: Ethnographers, dissidents, and states", In: Anthropological Quarterly 71(1), pp. 1-17.

 Ethnographic analyses of political dissidence are deeply implicated in the political contests about which ethnographers write. A comparison of the authors' fieldwork among dissidents in Argentina, Kenya, and the United States reveals both the differing dynamics of contests over thepolitical and the complex ways that ethnographers are situated within such contests.

Ortner (1995) Resistance and the Problem of Ethnographic Refusal

 Ortner, Sherry B. (1995), "Resistance and the problem of ethnographic refusal". In: Comparative Studies in Society and History 37(1), pp. 173-193.

 Ethnography of course means many things. Minimally, however, it has always meant the attempt to understand another life world using the self-as much of it as possible as the instrumentof knowing. As is by now widely known, ethnography has come under a great deal of internal criticism within anthropology over the past decade or so, but this minimal definition has not for the most part been challenged. This essay traces the effects of what I call ethnographic refusal on a series of studies surrounding the subject of resistance.

Shalom (2010) Theoreticians’ obligation of transparency: when parsimony, reflexivity, transparency and reciprocity meet

Drawing on his earlier pieces on the relation between theory and policy and the responsibility, Piki Ish Shalom demonstrates in this forthcoming article why transparency might be one of the pivotal criteria for any 'situated researcher'. Interesting read!

Hultin (2010) Repositioning the Front Lines? Reflections on the Ethnography of African Securityscapes

Hultin, N. (2010). "Repositioning the Front Lines? Reflections on the Ethnography of African Securityscapes." African Security 3(2): 104-125.

Neumann (2007) "A Speech That the Entire Ministry May Stand For," or: Why Diplomats Never Produce Anything New

Neumann, I. B. (2007). "“A Speech That the Entire Ministry May Stand for,” or: Why Diplomats Never Produce Anything New." International Political Sociology 1(2): 183-200.

This is a great article that is written from Neumann's own experience as a speech writer in the Norweigian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I have put it in the library because I think it offers insight into the kind of research that can be realised through critical research techniques, and in particular through engaging with our own situadness and the experiences it generates.

Leander (2002) Do we really need reflexivity in IPE? Bourdieu's two reasons for answering affirmatively

Leander, A. (2002). "Do we really need reflexivity in IPE? Bourdieu's two reasons for answering affirmatively." Review of International Political Economy 9(4): 601-609.

 This is a short introductory piece by Leander that gives a basic summary of Bourdieu's approach to reflexivity, and how it can be used to explore the impact of research on confronting and exposing the social hierarchies in which it is produced.

Wacquant (1996) Towards a Reflexive Sociology: A Workshop with Pierre Bourdieu

Wacquant, L. J. D. (1996). "Toward a reflexive sociology: A workshop with Pierre Bourdieu." Social theory and sociology: The classics and beyond: 213-229.

This is an article put together by Loic Wacquant and includes transcripts of talks given by Bourdieu to students studying his work. It is a good introduction to some of his tools and how they can be used for critical study of society.