Negotiating Asymmetries: The (De-)Thematization of Giving and Receiving in Ethnographic Relationships in Forced Migration Research

  • Ingmar Zalewski Universität Kassel
Keywords: ethnography, relationship, gift exchange, shame, refugees, migration, reflexivity

Abstract

In this article, I address the genesis and shape of my ethnographic doctoral project on processes of social participation among young male refugees from Syria. I focus on the shaping of my own relationship with the refugees participating in my fieldwork. On the one hand, using a reflexive approach, I reconstruct the mechanisms through which the relational approach is constituted as a key aspect of fieldwork that follows its own logic. On the other hand, based on excerpts from the empirical material, I outline the characteristics of the relational dynamics of a particular case, which I treat, following Marcel MAUSS (1990 [1925]), as a relationship of gift exchange: as an example of giving and receiving. Drawing on the obligation to reciprocate a gift, the mixing of person and thing in exchanging gifts, the creation of debt, and the temporal aspect of a gift, I disclose situations in which I experienced shame. The presented case may be indicative of what takes place in constellations involving volunteers and young refugees, as well as in the professional work relationships of educational staff.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Ingmar Zalewski, Universität Kassel

Ingmar ZALEWSKI (M. Sc.) promoviert an der Universität Kassel am Lehrstuhl für Sozialwissenschaftliche Methodologie qualitativ-rekonstruktiver Forschung bei Prof. Dr. Ulrike KISSMANN. Er ist Lehrbeauftragter des Fachgebiets für partizipative Ansätze in der Sozialforschung, Grounded-Theory-Methodologie und Ethnografie. Seine Forschung wird durch ein Promotionsstipendium der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung finanziert.

Published
2022-01-29
How to Cite
Zalewski, I. (2022). Negotiating Asymmetries: The (De-)Thematization of Giving and Receiving in Ethnographic Relationships in Forced Migration Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-23.1.3832
Section
FQS Debate: We Are Talking About Ourselves!