Updated: 4/1/2006; 1:46:57 PM.


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  Friday, March 31, 2006

  Complex domains and researcher accountability

Two things coming from Sebastian Fiedler mold into my thinking on PhD methodology.

The first post What Is "Good" Education Research? points to an article by Karl Hostetler (.pdf) discussing the ethics and politics of education research (themes that much in my thinking due to all my ethnographic readings).

The second is a quote from Søren Kierkegaard:

Life can only be understood backwards.
In the meantime, it has to be lived forwards.

CynefinThis one connects to retrospective coherence of complex domains (Dave Snowden/Cynefin, see the paper (.pdf)) and my attempts to figure out good methods of studying it.

What keeps bothering me is a misalignment of research methodologies that are percieved as "more scientific" (~easier to defend) and my own research values/interests (especially: complex domains and researcher accountability).

I'll have to find a way for resolving it - this is the only way for completing a PhD without compromising my values.

  Traces of fear

Stephanie wrote a very newspaper strong piece on catching the serial rapist in Umeå:

When the news came out that Hagamanen was caught my phone started ringing off the hook. Friends from both in and out of Umeå rang to tell me and I was excited! Later, when I was sitting with my daughter on the couch listening to the press conference a thought occurred to me. Hagamannen has been caught, but he has forever changed the way that women move in Umeå. He has, in his wake of violence, left a legacy of fear. Coming from the USA I was taught at a young age to fear the dark and to fear being a lone woman in the dark. We were taught to believe that there were hagamen behind every bush, and the statistics supported this fear. In the USA, one out of every four women are sexually assaulted. We are taught ways to avoid being alone, as well as various ways of defending ourselves. Defensive techniques are passed down from mother to daughter the way that recipes and family stories are. Since making Umeå my home 5 years ago, I have been able to get past those fears and those lessons and experience the ability to move freely despite my gender. It felt wonderful to be able to walk across town in the evening and not be afraid. But now my fear is different. I fear that the small concessions we have made walking in groups, walking with a male, buying alarms and defensive sprays will remain in our subconscious. We will begin to take these new behaviors and pass them on to the next generation. We will signal, by virtue of our fear, that we are the weaker sex and that we have taken the proper precautions to defend ourselves if we need to. I want my own daughter, and my friends, and my workmates to walk again in peace, not fearfully within a guarded box.

Makes me thinking of other, not so life endangering, fears from the past that shape our lifes today...

More on: life 

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© Copyright 2002-2006 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

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