23May 2019
18:15 - 19:45

University of Basel, Kollegiengebäude, Petersplatz, Hörsaal 114

Julia Büchele, Joschka Philipps

Gastvorlesung / Vortrag, Öffentliche Veranstaltung

Methodological Challenges in Migration Studies: ‘Visuality’ as a new approach

LECTURE by Amal Abdrabo (University of Basel)

migration series

 “Conditionally, in order to get permission to start the field study, ethnographers are asked to provide and submit an IRB form (an institutional review board) to guarantee the ethical dimensions of the conducted research and to verify no intended harm to the target interlocutors. After my field experience, I started to ask myself: Who is responsible for my safety? How can our safety as ethnographers and outsiders be ensured while conducting our field studies? This being said, the field became like a “frontier zone” as coined by Belousov (2007:159). The field is a policed space where ethnographers can feel insecure and unsafe. I might have managed to build and maintain rapport with my people at the field as we still exchange phone calls, but I am only a human who had to carry out a research while feeling unsafe and insecure in the field. Simultaneously, I was also uncertain as to whether this “study” would survive and have a life of its own or not.”

“Methods don’t just describe social realities, but also help to create them,” (John Law, 2004: i)

The previous vignette is extracted from Amal Abdrabo’s MA thesis within the field of Migration Studies, which raises questions about what kind of methodological challenges we are facing within our field sites inside a migrant community? How can we overcome those challenges by using methods themselves? As John Law writes: “If methods want to know and to help shape the world, then they need to reinvent their practice and their politics in order to deal with the mess. That is the challenge,” (John Law, 2004: i). In this vein, how can we make sense of this mess? How can we create social realities using scientific research methods? In her talk, Abdrabo will address these and other questions and will discuss what role ‘visuality’ in migration studies could play.

Veranstaltung übernehmen als iCal