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Researchers in the panopticon? Geographies of research, fieldwork and authoritarianism

Menga, F. (2020) Researchers in the panopticon? Geographies of research, fieldwork and authoritarianism. The Geographical Review, 110 (3). pp. 341-357. ISSN 1931-0846

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00167428.2019.1684197

Abstract/Summary

Building on an emerging scholarly literature that discusses methodological issues related to the safety of researchers, I explore the lived experiences of Western researchers who conducted fieldwork in authoritarian settings. Through an analysis of power as a relational phenomenon, the article examines the ways in which researchers are subject to diffuse topologies of power that can be deployed in various contexts and at various scales. Evidence suggests that as researchers immerse themselves into fieldwork, their everyday encounters with the authorities make them become progressively aware of their surroundings and of the fact that they might be being observed. Researchers thus discipline themselves and normalize a number of self-policing behaviours and practices that can significantly influence processes of knowledge production.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:87246
Publisher:Wiley

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