Makeshift camps, makeshift methodologies?

Authors: Claudio Minca*, Macquarie University
Topics: Field Methods, Political Geography, Migration
Keywords: Camp, methodology, refugees, Balkan Route
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Virginia B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper reflects on some of the methodological challenges we were faced with during our recent fieldwork in refugee camps along the Balkan Route. In particular, I will discuss the difficulties related to the application of conventional research methods in a context largely determined by ‘irregular’ mobilities and by changing relationships between formal and informal camps. In-depth interviews, go-along interviews, participant observation and other methods were in fact crucially affected by the camp context, including its visible and invisible structures of power. Questions related to the study of appearing and disappearing makeshift camps (and the related role of their ‘community’ leaders) will also be analysed together with the need to adapt (literally, on site) our methods to the ‘camp circumstances’ and, accordingly, adjust our ‘camp methodologies’.

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