Abstract

Abstract:

This essay asks: how does collaborative ethnography differ for insider researchers who conduct research not just "at home" but also with their communities? What happens when frictions arise during collaborations, and what can we learn from those moments of friction? Drawing from my fieldwork on reproductive rights activism in Turkey, I reflect on my strategies and challenges to build research collaboration while working with and for feminist activists. Feminist scholars' invitation to move beyond identity-based reflexivity and build collaborative praxis (Nagar and Ali 2003; Benson and Nagar 2006) has been a guiding framework for conceptualizing my inquiry. However, it is my dual positionality itself—as both an ethnographer and a long-term member of the feminist movement—that enables imagining collaborative modes of ethnography but also complicates it in unexpected ways. Conceptualizing and implementing collaborative modes of research contributes to addressing some of the political and ethical issues inherent in ethnographic practice and knowledge production. Such collaborations, on the other hand, mean not only building solidarities but also confronting tensions and contradictions (Speed 2008; Davis 2016), especially when one is committed and accountable to multiple and overlapping worlds. As a result, studying (with and for) activist networks as insiders calls for constant negotiation of roles and relationships as well as rethinking methods and products of research collaborations.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2152-4009
Print ISSN
1943-2550
Pages
pp. 164-183
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-15
Open Access
No
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