The researcher as occupational traveller: from strategic essentialism to creative understanding

Danaher, Patrick Alan (2001) The researcher as occupational traveller: from strategic essentialism to creative understanding. Journal of Nomadic Studies (4). pp. 66-78. ISSN 1119-2712


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[Abstract]: This paper records the author’s reflections on a five-month study leave involving interviews with occupational Travellers and their teachers in five countries between February and July 1999. The focus is on ways in which elements of the researcher’s subjectivity were mediated and negotiated through interactions with the interviewees and others, processes that both clarified and contested those elements for the researcher. The argument is advanced that, like occupational Travellers when interacting with non-itinerants, the author simultaneously engaged in ‘strategic essentialism’ (Spivak with Rooney, 1997) and strove for anti-essentialism in the form of ‘outsidedness’ from, and ‘creative understanding’ with, others (Bakhtin, 1986). This suggests that the interplay between essentialism and anti-essentialism is complex and fluid for both educational researchers and occupational Travellers.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited 10/7/2008 after no response recvd to request for copyright permission after 17 months.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:53
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: creative understanding, researcher identity, strategic essentialism, Traveller education
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education

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