Agonistic methodology for postmigratory research with critical impact

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Since the 1960s, we have witnessed a growing body of participatory research concerning the oppressed as a way of democratizing research. From the 1990s and onwards, these democratizing ambitions have been re-coined in terms of a neoliberal impact agenda of providing change and benefit to society beyond academia (Stevens 2016). The neoliberalisation of socially engaged research has the apparent side effect of taming research endeavours to respond to majoritarian problem identifications – echoing the hegemony of Western, heterosexual, male, capitalistic, middleclass powers. In traditional migration research, this has affected state-centric and racializing migration research placing migrants “in a set of cultural containers along the margins of the “majority society”” (Römhild 2017: 69) and treating them as passive research objects. What is needed is research that is able to unravel the socio-cultural situation of postmigrancy understood – not as an afterwards concept – but as a concept of the re-narration of migration as it is (Petersen & Schramm 2017). Accordingly, postmigrancy must be understood as an agonistic process offering “resistance to the manipulations of power which are exercised in order to confine, define, and limit to the boundaries of “otherness”” (Bromley 2017: 40–41). This paper attempts to re-appropriate the impact agenda by developing a methodology with critical impact from a postmigratory vantage point. Doing so, it operationalizes Mouffe’s (2013) concept of agonistics methodologically by means of Design Thinking and Critical Race Theory (Dando et al. 2019). The paper suggests a methodology that embraces conflict; not only to challenge hegemonic representations of “them” and “us” but also to pursue a sensitive montaging of migrant heterogeneity (Tello 2016) and beyond. Consequently, the paper discusses three ethical and political dilemmas of critically engaged postmigratory research: The dilemma of 1) impact and critique, 2) representation and mainstreaming, and 3) open-endedness and constructive futurism.
StatusUdgivet - 2019
BegivenhedETMU 2019: Solidarity, Participation, and Politics - University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Varighed: 14 nov. 201915 nov. 2019
Konferencens nummer: 16


KonferenceETMU 2019
LokationUniversity of Tampere