You are warmly invited to a half-day ‘Hack Day’ on doing sensitive participatory research with people at the margins in times of austerity (details below).
Registration is £20, and places are limited – so please sign up soon if you would like to attend:
GHWRG Hack Day: Doing sensitive participatory research in times of austerity
Date: Friday 28 June 2019
Time: 12.30pm (lunch and registration) – 5.00pm
Venue: Lowther Room, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London
A hack day is designed to get people together in a room to discuss the nuts and bolts of a particular issue, to share the lessons already learnt, to suggest ways to take a different track, and to facilitate the creation of ideas to resolve the issue.
For the purposes of this event, the focus of the hack day is on discussing the challenges of, and lessons and ideas to be learnt from, how we carry out sensitive participatory research into everyday austerities and the ethical implications of researching in austere conditions via a ‘hack approach’.
Despite government proclamations that ‘austerity is over’, the funding climate and the everyday effects of austerity continue to live on. During this time, geographers have sought to develop more participatory methods to involve and find out more about the lives of people at the harsh end of the cuts, including individuals and families living in poverty, those ‘getting by’ on welfare benefits, and those living with ill-health and impairment whilst using health and social care services.
Given participatory methodologies seek to engage participants in more depth throughout the research process, a series of tensions can emerge that researchers must grapple with – e.g. recompensing participants, managing vulnerable relationships whilst deepening levels of engagement, and facilitating the creation of shared knowledge. These tensions are compounded by having to encounter more closely the inequalities, vulnerabilities, and challenging contexts that can destabilize participants’s lives. By encountering these tensions more closely, researchers must work through difficult practical issues and delicate ethical questions whilst carefully managing conversations about the impact of the research. Over an afternoon, we will take stock of current participatory research on austerity in geographies of health and wellbeing and consider where it is heading.
This half-day ‘hack day’ is an opportunity to explore through a series of papers and discussant-led dialogues these challenges and lessons – including discussion of the following questions:
- What are the implications of the austerity landscape for the viability and practicability of sensitive participatory research?
- Are changing labour market patterns, and cutbacks to services making some research communities more vulnerable and eroding their ability to engage more in-depth with researchers?
- How is the rise of anti-welfare populist rhetoric and stigmatisation affecting the ability of researchers to bring about major positive change with the communities they seek to study?
- To what extent does the context of austerity shape the meaning and theoretical underpinnings of sensitive participatory methodology?
Confirmed speakers include:
- Dr Louise Holt (Reader, University of Loughborough)
- Sarah Marie-Hall (Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Morgan Centre Member, University of Manchester)
- Dr Andrew Power (Associate Professor, University of Southampton)
The HackDay is open to researchers from both within and outside geography, as well as advocates and representatives of health or social care organisations. The event will be followed by drinks afterwards in a nearby pub.