setting off…

Welcome to my blog — a record of my PhD research on issues of migration, national identity, Christian identity and place. I intend to use this as a space to share with you my reflections during the (hopefully not much more than) three years that it takes me to plan, research and write up my project. I hope that this will be a resource for people to participate in a kind of ‘open-source’ research project.

Often, the only point of contact between a researcher and the people they do research with is when they collect information through interviews, surveys, participating in their lives, taking photos etc (often called ‘data collection’ or ‘field work’). The views that the researcher has before they go into the field are largely invisible to the people they talk to. Their interpretation of the results is often a secret until they publish their results. Sometimes these results surprise the people they did research with. I think this is a problem.

This blog is a small attempt to move away from this way of doing research. Here, I will come clean on what I am thinking before, during and after fieldwork. My hope is that you, dear reader, will help correct my thinking along the way. This blog is public. It is open to anyone who wants to read about and participate in my research. I will actively advertise it to people who have contact with my research project; colleagues, fellow students, people I talk to or survey about their thoughts, interested friends. I hope that it will create research that more authentically listens to the voices of the people I’m doing research with.

If you’re interested in finding out more:

  • You can read more about the blog (including some advice on Ethics and Commenting) HERE.
  • You can read a summary of my project HERE or download the full proposal HERE.
  • And you can read about me and why I’m doing this particular project HERE.
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