Accepted paper:

Achieving temporal and local multidimensionality: experiments in cross-generational research collaboration


Alejandra Tijerina García (Universität Hamburg)
Gertraud Koch (Universität Hamburg)
Teresa Stumpf (University of Hamburg)
Samantha Lutz (University of Hamburg)

Paper short abstract:

Given the dilemma of temporality in ethnographic research this article - based on a research project in Berlin-Neukölln - discusses how collaboration across different generations of researchers can enable an inherent acceleration, consolidation and amplification of ethnographic research processes.

Paper long abstract:

Ethnographic fields are inherently complex, perhaps today more than ever. By increasingly turning toward the study of the "here and now", as Paul Rabinow emphasizes, temporalizing becomes a key problem for ethnography (Rabinow et al., 2008). The different paces of social dynamics in the field and ethnographic research, characterized by its slowness, complicate the spatial mapping of the field and the contextualization of the temporal frame (Marcus, 2010). In the face of this complexity, it is necessary to consider the use of new approaches in research. In this sense, the significance of collaboration for research design becomes important as "the result would be a back-and-forth, a recursive shaping of each other" (Rabinow et al., 2008, p.85). The tendency for collaboration in research serves a deepening and widening of the field, while revealing its open-ended character (Marcus, 2013). Following Rabinow and Marcus, we applied a research strategy in our urban anthropological project in Berlin-Neukölln that places collaboration at its core. Differently from Rabinow and Marcus, we understood collaboration as a form of cooperation and knowledge production that involves different researcher personalities and generations. These various modes of collaboration across different researcher generations - Bachelor, Master, and PhD students alongside post-docs and professors - being engaged in the field of Neukölln at different stages of the study will be discussed. This experience will serve as a stage to depict the experimental qualities and intricate relationships developed when researchers of different generations work together in ethnographic research processes.

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Ethnography as collaboration/experiment