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“You Sound so Authentic!” Research Encounters With Diaspora, in Diaspora, as Diaspora

Case
By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Political Science and International Relations
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Abstract

This case study explores the insider–outsider divide in fieldwork situations when researchers and informants may occupy hybrid positions. The paper draws from the author’s multi-sited fieldwork experience with individuals from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe as well as in a post-conflict setting, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through interviews with conflict-generated diaspora as well as local and returnee populations, the influence of language and local ties in the community and country of origin are juxtaposed with experiences in countries of settlement, especially in relation to diaspora mobilization. The work provides practical guidance, explores inherent challenges and advantages of using such methodologies, and argues a strategic approach and reflexivity should be carefully considered not only when building research designs but throughout the research process as well.

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