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RT083


Collaboration as method in medical anthropology. Feminist and decolonial perspectives [Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE)] 
Convenors:
Hansjörg Dilger (Freie Universität Berlin)
Lucia Mair (University of Vienna)
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Chair:
Maria Fernanda Olarte-Sierra (University of Vienna)
Formats :
Roundtable
Mode :
Face-to-face

Short Abstract:

What is collaborative research in Medical Anthropology? How to have trusting and symmetrical relationships when addressing health-related inequalities and power relations? From a feminist and decolonial approach, we discuss the (im)possibilities of collaboration in Medical Anthropology research.

Long Abstract:

Over the past decades, Medical Anthropology has been reflecting on its methodological approaches, especially in contexts of marked inequality and power imbalance; as well as in contexts where our interlocutors’ survival and existence are at stake, and where they face suffering and devastation. How to do ethnographic research on conditions of suffering and inequality when addressing health-related issues without reproducing these conditions?

From a feminist and decolonial approach to research and knowledge practices, collaborative research figures as one possible way to counteract extractivist modes of fieldwork that feed into and perpetuate the long-lasting matrix of power. However, if we are to engage in ‘true’ collaboration, questions arise about the varied forms it may (and should) take. For instance, when does collaboration begin, and when and how does it end? How do different forms of knowledge enter into dialogue during fieldwork and become an integral part of the research findings? What can collaboration look like in the context of academic hierarchies, especially when it involves early-career researchers (including students)? How can ECRs with often low paid and short-term jobs engage in time- and resource-consuming collaboration without increasing their precarious status?

In this round-table, we plan to critically engage with collaborative methodologies which are ideally based on concrete ethnographic case studies. We aim to discuss and learn from the challenges of such methodologies that have the potential of decentering academic knowledge practices by giving equal room to diverse forms of knowledge production in matters of health, care, hope, body, life, and death.

Accepted papers: