Transformative Methodologies

I have been involved in a research project on transformative research methodologies since November 2020. The project seeks to conceptualise a transformative research methodology that underlines a radically different and morally responsible way of conducting research by identifying and challenging ontological and epistemological assumptions that limit the transformative potential of produced knowledge and perpetuate social injustices in research processes.

 

Questions leading the discussions include:

What is the purpose of scientific research?

Who benefits from such research?

How can transformative social change be achieved?

Who enacts such change?

What are the intersectional implications of such change?

Different perspectives and practices were brought together in an online workshop held in May 2021; these will be synthesised as a first step in the conceptualisation of a transformative research methodology that we hope can inform research processes in the future. The workshop has enabled lively discussions and thought-provoking insights and ideas that are captured in a virtual gallery of workshop presentations and a blog series on ISS Blog Bliss that I coordinated and edited. The research team is currently writing a working paper based on workshop presentations and discussions.

 

The project is funded by the Research Innovation Facility (RIF) of the International Institute of Social Studies. 

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Transformative Research Communication

Besides forming part of the research methodologies project team, I've also been spending time thinking about how the communication of scientific knowledge links to transformative research methodologies. Below you'll find some of my thoughts.

VIDEO

Transformative Research Communication

While transformative research methods form a key component of transformative research methodologies seeking to address injustices arising in the research process, research communication also plays a key role in minimising inequality in the research process. This entails critically questioning power relations underlying the communication process by asking whom scientific knowledge is communicated to and by, in which ways, and with which intent.

VIDEO

Academic Blogging for Transformation

Pressure on academic researchers to publish their research in peer-reviewed academic journals keeps the knowledge they produce within the confines of academia, which reduces its social impact. In this video, I show how academic blogging can be used as a tool to communicate scientific knowledge in an accessible and understandable way that ensures that it reaches society in a way that contributes to transformative research for social change.

BLOG POST

Let’s talk about it:

embedding research communication

in transformative research

Discussions on the transformative potential of research have focused little on how research is communicated once it has been conducted and, indeed, while it is conducted. Instead, the focus hitherto has been primarily on data generation processes, with topics such as inclusion, research ethics, and agency frequently discussed. Fundamental questions such as who the knowledge produced through research reaches, at what time, and with which purpose require greater scrutiny, write Dorothea Hilhorst, Lize Swartz, and Adinda Ceelen.