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Methodology Matters in Iran

Researching Social Movements in Authoritarian Contexts

Paola Rivetti

movements in authoritarian contexts, generating better and fairer knowledge. This is part of a broader methodological reflection that looks at research methods as an integral part of a research project, not as a mere instrument for gathering evidences, and

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Research Methodology in Kurdish Studies

Interactions between Fieldwork, Epistemology and Theory

Mehmet Orhan

Kurdish studies are generally defined and conducted according to a topic or geographic location, namely, within the Middle East. Research procedures used to handle different issues as well as develop concepts and hypotheses have become important, since most of the current theories lack practical approaches when conducting studies on the Kurds. Relying on specific examples, published sources as well as the author’s personal fieldwork and insights, the article establishes a critique of bias, problems and solutions in research goals and methodologies in the field of Kurdish studies. The article underlines the importance of problem-oriented research, notably addressing the questions who, where, when, how and why. Furthermore, it shows the way in which the personality of the researcher, as well as the fluctuations and constraints encountered during the fieldwork, influence the methodology. Finally, it emphasises the practical and theoretical challenges dealt with by the researcher due to the political aspect of the Kurdish question, which encompasses orientalist, imperial, or national interests.

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Lamazhaa Chimiza

theory to the conditions of a given country in a particular historical period ( Iadov 2003: 16 ). A similar trend has spread in ethnography and anthropology since the 1990s and early 2000s, which has taken shape as indigenous methodology (see, e

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Is anthropology legal?

Earthquakes, blitzkrieg, and ethical futures

Edward Simpson

to do other things, which have been characterized in many varied ways. Hastrup (2004) , for example, suggests anthropology is a kind of explanation beyond the truth of events themselves. Anthropology is not simply a methodological approach through

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Phil Tattersall

(along the lines of post-normal science) where experts are called upon to cross-check or triangulate results. Methodological Foundation of CBA Community-based auditing (CBA) is an attempt to engage community members as active players in the planning and

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Julia A. King

information available from a particular collection ( Faniel et al. 2013: 4 ). Collections-based research is uniquely positioned to inform contemporary fieldwork practices, leading to the development of improved standards and more rigorous methodologies

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Courage and Obstinacy

Remembering a Frontrunner

Johanna Rolshoven

In German academic Volkskunde of the 1970s, scholar Ina-Maria Greverus was a pioneer in several realms. As a woman and feminist, she challenged the discipline’s gender order, including its hidden gendered epistemology; as an early reader of international cultural anthropology, she transgressed nationalistically confined horizons, and her methodological openness created space for new formats that challenged false assumption of scientific objectivity and neutrality.

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Paul Sillitoe

This is an introduction to indigenous or local knowledge (IK) in development. After discussing problems of definition, various models to represent relations between, and structure enquiries into, different knowledge traditions are outlined, including the continuum and sphere representations. This discussion includes a summary of points that justify why agencies should seek better to incorporate consideration of local knowledge into development programmes; and sketches the several methodological issues that we have to address to take this work forwards. Finally, this introduction concludes with some comments on the work of the Durham Anthropology in Development (AID) group.

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Development research

Convergent or divergent approaches and understandings of poverty? An introduction

John R. Campbell and Jeremy Holland

Is it possible or indeed desirable to combine qualitative, participatory and quantitative research methods and approaches to better understand poverty? This special section of Focaal seeks to explore a number of contentious, inter-related issues that arise from multimethod research that is driven by growing international policy concerns to reduce global poverty. We seek to initiate an interdisciplinary dialog about the limits of methodological integration by examining existing research practice to better understand the strengths and limitations of combining methods which derive from different epistemological premises. We ask how methods might be combined to better address issues of causality, and whether the concept of triangulation offers a possible way forward. In examining existing research we find little in the way of shared understanding about poverty and, due to the dominance of econometrics and its insistence on using household surveys, very little middle ground where other disciplines might collaborate to rethink key conceptual and methodological issues.

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Aziz Choudry

This article seeks to explore the work of activist researchers located in social movements, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and people’s organisations with close relations to contemporary progressive grassroots struggles in a number of countries, mainly in the global South. Drawing from extensive interviews with these researchers on their processes and practice of research and knowledge production, located outside of academic institutions and partnerships, it documents their understandings about the theoretical frameworks and methodologies they employ. This article thus foregrounds articulations of actual research practices from the perspectives of activist researchers themselves. In doing so, it suggests that social movement scholars can learn more about the intellectual work within movements, including the relations between theoretical and methodological approaches and action, from a deeper engagement with the work of activist researchers outside of academia.