Accepted paper:

Making space for dialogue and critical reflection through work with diverse stakeholders on migration

Authors:

Rebecca Kay (Glasgow University)
Moya Flynn (University of Glasgow)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the process of designing a research project to engage critically with and facilitate dialogue between a variety of stakeholders, who do not share a singular discursive or strategic approach to questions surrounding migration and settlement in Scotland.

Paper long abstract:

The proposed paper is unusual in that it explores plans for and design of a project which will not begin until September 2012. This ESRC-funded study aims to explore perspectives and experiences of 'social security' amongst migrants from Central Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland and to examine the impacts of these on their longer term intentions and opportunities for settlement. The project will incorporate close collaboration with and participatory action research amongst both migrant associations and a range of third and public sector service providers and policy makers. As such the paper explores the process of developing and designing a research project to engage critically with a variety of stakeholders, who do not share a singular discursive or strategic approach to questions surrounding migration and settlement in Scotland. An incremental, phased approach to the research including both a range of qualitative methods and the gradual development of increasingly participatory and action focused research [PAR] is designed to facilitate the building up of relationships of trust and to encourage increasingly active engagement of migrants and other research participants in the investigation. Rather than compromising the academic rigour of anthropological study, the project applies an extensive research design in order to provide facilitated spaces for dialogue and critical reflection, bringing together participants who are frequently politically 'opposed' as a starting point for action. Nonetheless, the need to develop and maintain credibility and trust amongst these diverse partners will certainly throw up challenges to the research.

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panel P25
Can anthropology work for migrants? Anthropology (-ists) at work in charities and NGOs