Accepted Paper:

Life stories as reserach and didactic activity  


Nejra Nuna Cengic (University of Graz)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses conduct of biographical research within the scope of a course/training. It appears as a mode of establishing good relationship between researcher and biographer with mutual benefit for both sides.

Paper long abstract:

Presentation is based on personal experience of conducting biographical research within the scope of a course/training. It appears as one way of doing it (when something like that is appropriate) combining both research and educational/didactic activity. It demands significant sensitivity and extra energy in developing positive group climate. Once when is created, participants can feel safe and warm to tell their stories. Warming up appears particularly important in doing this activity with potentially traumatized people, in this particular case peace activists from post-war setting. The important ethical concern related to unequal relation between researcher and biographer that may have significant impact on overall research is mitigate by another component of overall activity - didactic activity, transfer of knowledge, as the major benefit for participants. In this way, the process is in the same/similar scale stimulating for both sides, creating partnership relations. Certainly, the basic intentions and motivation for both sides should be clearly outlined. The relationship between researcher and participants is primarily professional that may grow into friendship, but not necessarily; it is not its primary aim.

Panel IW04
Ethically sensitive researches in anthropology