Making space for ambiguity: the value of multiple and participatory methods in researching diasporic youth identities

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Abstract
This article explores the use of participatory methods in a research project with young people in return migrant families. In-depth children-centred participatory research was conducted with children and young people who had moved to Ireland with their Irish return migrant parents during the recent ‘Celtic Tiger’ era. I argue that the use of multimodal and participatory methods in research with young migrants enables participants to express multiple identities and complex narratives of self. People frequently perform different identities in different contexts, but young migrants in particular, because of the disruptions and incoherences associated with their migrancy and their complex social and cultural positionings, can express ambiguous and apparently contradictory narratives of self. Recognising that research is a process of coconstructing meaning, I highlight the importance of using multimodal methods in research with young migrants, showing how different modes of coconstructing meaning can allow different and ambiguous narratives of self to be articulated.

Abstract

This article explores the use of participatory methods in a research project with young people in return migrant families. In-depth children-centred participatory research was conducted with children and young people who had moved to Ireland with their Irish return migrant parents during the recent ‘Celtic Tiger’ era. I argue that the use of multimodal and participatory methods in research with young migrants enables participants to express multiple identities and complex narratives of self. People frequently perform different identities in different contexts, but young migrants in particular, because of the disruptions and incoherences associated with their migrancy and their complex social and cultural positionings, can express ambiguous and apparently contradictory narratives of self. Recognising that research is a process of coconstructing meaning, I highlight the importance of using multimodal methods in research with young migrants, showing how different modes of coconstructing meaning can allow different and ambiguous narratives of self to be articulated.

Source: Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, first published online 7 April 2015

Author(s):Caitríona Ní Laoire
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Online
Publication Date:07 Apr 2015
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1070289X.2015.1024124#.VSuGUPnF86U
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