Beyond Insiders and Outsiders in Migration Research: Rejecting A Priori Commonalities. Introduction to the FQS Thematic Section on "Researcher, Migrant, Woman: Methodological Implications of Multiple Positionalities in Migration Studies"

Magdalena Nowicka, Louise Ryan


This editorial discusses the main strings of debates linking the discussions of insider research, gendered identities and concerns of methodological nationalism and groupism in migration studies. The insider/outsider dichotomy has been discussed in the academic literature for many years and in migration research this usually takes the form of ethnic/national categories. We suggest that researchers now need to think of abandoning these narrow and static views of their participants so as to challenge the dominance of the ethnic lens in migration studies. In this introductory article and in the articles that make up this thematic section, we aim to open a critical discussion of gender, identity, sameness, difference and ethnicity to explore the complex, shifting and multilayered dynamics that under-pin research encounters. Far from the assumed commonalities usually associated with "insider" research, we suggest instead that starting from a position of "uncertainty" challenges taken for granted groupist notions and enables researchers to be open to a wide array of possibilities in their encounters with participants.



migration research; migration studies; methodological groupism; positionalities in research; insider/outsider research; qualitative interview

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Copyright (c) 2015 Magdalena Nowicka, Louise Ryan

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