Please enjoy the following article from the Journal of Urban Affairs, available online.
Reversing the gaze, insiders out, outsiders in: Stories from the ivory tower and the field, by Elizabeth L. Sweet, Rickie Sanders, & Donna-Marie Peters
Western field-based university research places considerable value on objectivity and distancing researchers from the researched. This proves difficult in circumstances where research is long-term and its acceptable designs replicate colonial structures. Our work is rooted in the practice of consciousness raising. Our findings are twofold. First, participating in the practice of consciousness raising allowed us to see that we were “outsiders” in the neoliberal university. It made visible the commonality we had with the researched. We refer to this as a politics of identification. Second, our stories demonstrate the impracticality and weaknesses of the a-spatial, a-temporal and a-relational underpinnings of western-colonial methodology. Our stories highlight the importance of time, space, and relationships in the practice of research. Embracing the politics of identification enabled us to challenge the dominant ethos of objectivity, decrease our feelings of isolation, and embrace long-term “loving attachments,” which extended the depth and resonance of our work.