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 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Louise Ryan Middlesex University
Keywords: migration research, migration studies, methodological groupism, positionalities in research, insider/outsider research, qualitative interview

Abstract

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.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1502183

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Author Biographies

Magdalena Nowicka, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Magdalena NOWICKA, Dr., is professor for migration and transnationalism at the Humboldt-Universtität zu Berlin and leader of the ERC funded project TRANSFORmIG. Transforming Migration: Transnational Transfer of Multicultural Habitus. Her research interests include issues of international migration and mobility, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, socio-cultural diversity and social transformation and social inequality, qualitative social research. In her current project, she combines a qualitative panel study with narrative interviewing techniques and visual ethnography.

Louise Ryan, Middlesex University

Louise Ryan, Dr., is professor of sociology and co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University London. She is programme leader for the MSc. in research methods, and module leader in research design, process and ethics. She is a member of Research Ethics Committee. She is currently working on an ESRC funded project on highly skilled French migrants in London (with Dr. Jon MULHOLLAND). Her research interests encompass gender, migration, ethnicity, religion and identity, social networks, social movements and transnational families. She teaches research methods and migration.

Published
2015-05-27
How to Cite
Nowicka, M., & Ryan, L. (2015). 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". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2342
Section
Researcher, Migrant, Woman: Methodological Implications of Multiple Positionalities in Migration Studies