Writing has been considered a primary part of research methods, both knowledge exchange and political processes. The politics in the research methods has been evident in how the particular research methods are chosen and the approaches incorporated in the acquisition and analysis of knowledge (Pos and Leslie, 2005, 3). Furthermore, the choice of words and the literal and hidden meanings play a significant role in furthering politics and controversy. After all, effective communication requires terms that do not create any form of misunderstanding (Rapaport, 2011, 15). From an individual perspective, research methods represent the links towards understanding an area of study. It has become vital that I’m aware and familiar with the different research methods, especially when looking into human growth, behaviors, and developments, since numerous distinct research designs could be used. I have grown to acknowledge that different research methods will serve other purposes and at specific validity levels. The variations in research designs allow the determination of the proper methodology that will best suit a particular research situation.
The importance of being an anti-oppressive researcher comes from the fact that was enacting change and decolonizing the indigenous communities in various fields. Through anti-oppressive research (Joseph et al., 2022). Power dynamics will be shifted within the research setting so that indigenous communities can take a more active role in developing and co-creating meaningful research within their community settings. Giving priority to indigenous research collaborators in projects affecting the indigenous communities vails a distinct level of lived experiences and a visceral understanding of the effects on field-related knowledge. Consequently, with the consistent emergence of indigenous research and respective researchers, it becomes possible to attain indigenous research sovereignty; numerous indigenous communities already have research protocols and ethics approvals. Obtaining research sovereignty will not mean the exclusion of the non-indigenous researchers’ but rather the communities get to have complete agency and independence in their research, including their collaborators (Joseph et al., 2022). It is prudent that researchers understand that while the indigenous communities are some of the most studied individuals, the history of extractive research has proven invisible and marginalized. An anti-oppressive researcher will ensure that these indigenous communities can establish their pathways in the study and ensure that the information shared is an accurate account of their lived experience.
Anti-Oppressive Research Methods
Given the simple choice between being an oppressive and an anti-oppressive researcher, it is expected that one would choose the latter. Nevertheless, the latter is not very direct. Committing oneself to being an anti-oppressive researcher means saving to social change and actively implementing the change. An anti-oppressive researcher acknowledges the political purpose and action incorporated in one’s research (Caliskan, 2020, 197). The primary principles that are to guide the anti-oppressive research methods include the critical reflection of self while in practice, the thorough assessment of the service users’ experiences of oppression, the empowerment of service users, working in partnerships, and minimizing opportunities of social control by strategically intervening in the least intrusive way possible in the service users’ life. McQuillan (2000, 12) refers to this as the deconstruction of literature. The anti-compressive research methods refer to the methods and processes incorporated for understanding the systems of oppression such as racism and sexism that could lead to individual discriminatory behaviors and structural or systemic inequities affecting particular groups in the society (Amadasun and Tracy, 2020, 3). The primary aim of these methods is to recognize and dismantle discriminatory behaviors and power imbalances. Hence, it is evident that the anti-oppressive practice is focused on changing the oppressive policies and procedures as it focuses on handling the immediate crisis. The practice has also acknowledged the power of language in shaping identities and opportunities, prompting the practitioners to be careful on using language to avoid derogatory labels and hence try to use the mutual or collaborative designations (Allison and Strega, 2005, 11).
Therefore, being an anti-oppressive researcher requires a combination of methodologies that can handle the sophisticated, multifaceted character of oppression, its objectives, structural aspects, and subjective phenomenological dimensions. The quantitative methods would hence be used to provide measurable, empirical data relating to the structural expressionism of oppressions. The qualitative ‘bottom up’ interpretive approach reflects the oppression experiences (Strier, 2007, 861). This study of oppression would also need to deal with the prevalent cultural images underpinning the inferior status accorded to the oppressed both consciously and unconsciously. Reproducing the symbol constructions strengthens the hegemonic discourses to demonize, dehumanize and stigmatize the oppressed. The narrative constructivist research is a feasible approach for revealing internalized oppression among the oppressed themselves.
Peterson et al. (2016) examined feminism, precisely black feminism, as one anti-oppression research methodology. Historically, black women have dealt with racial, gender, class, and religious discrimination, among other kinds of marginalization. The viewpoint inspired the focus of race and gender in this methodology that the two issues cannot be separated, the theoretical underpinnings in black feminists’ thoughts ate that there is a need to create affirming spaces that promote the self-love concept among the oppressed society, fundamentally, black feminism thoughts provide a self-defining lens in which the black women are aware of their experienced, this theory challenges the oppressive power dynamics that look wt women as an inferior gender, as a reach method. The black feminism approach will delve into the conventional research approaches to show how inclusive humanizing and engaging practices could be applied (Peterson et al., 2016). It emphasizes the need to be aware of black women’s experiences, especially in their development of knowledge. Harem their experiences, lives, and identities are considered valuable, the data collection strategy incorporated focuses on ensuring different truths are visible. Space is created for their self-determinism and definition. The deployment of this research methodology makes it essential to understand the resistance of black women to oppression in their daily lives. The data collection will also shun the traditional names assigned to the respective methodologies. For example, the interviews are considered to be recorded dialogue conversations, and the focus groups are considered to be Black Women Gathering Place (BWGP). Fundamentally, the implementation of this method will have the researcher striving to adequately disrupt the unidirectional strategies affiliated with the conventional research methods. This approach grants black women free space for expressing their experiences and presenting information in wart that empowers them.
According to Thomas (2009), applying critical theories in challenging and destabilizing the conventional knowledge forms could be considered one of the anti-oppressive approaches. The critical race theory (CRT) approach is focused on raising awareness of social conditions and promoting equity and fairness. The research indicated that people of color within studies are considered deviant, especially when considering the West-dominated perceptions. The critical race theory hence becomes a fundamental tool for challenging the experiences of white men as the acceptable norms. This theory will focus on the actual roots or rather the actual accounts of the people of color. It primarily looks into the racial oppression that arose from structural racism, sexism, and the intersection between the two concepts and social class in different cases (Thomas, 2009). This framework is made of essential viewpoints, rules, and methods focussed on identifying, analyzing, and altering both the cultural and structural perspectives which maintain the subordination and marginalization that minority groups have been facing in society. Their primary tenets include race and affiliated racism, which is timeless, permanent, and deeply embedded in American culture. The approach also considers whiteness as a property of interests in the rights relating to the possession, transfer use, and enjoyment (Thomas, 2009). The CRT theorists indicate that the original fundamental rights accorded to African-Americans were already enjoyed by the white individuals for centuries. Therefore, their implementation wears an actual movie to see that these rights are preserved for the interests of the white people. Another primary tenet is that it criticized the liberal approaches for failing to consider the permanence and persistence of racism as the concept of racism was built. Finally, the approach promoted counter-storytelling as it counters the myths that have persisted among the majority communities.
The CRT methodology fosters the researchers to distinguish between right and wrong as different values and beliefs are examined. The primary aim is to minimize how the biases will inform the interpretations, analysis, presentation, and dissemination of data (Thomas, 2009). Its application in research has prompted CRT to avail a framework that identifies the critical issues; frames the inclusive questions, review the relevant literature, gives a voice to participants through data collection and analysis, and also reach conclusions and recommendations that will foster social change, this method is also applicable in other methodologies ad hence considered a feasible anti-oppressive approach that will encourage social justice for the indigenous communities.
One crucial scholar that has looked into the methodologies in anti-oppressive research, Mehmoona Mousa-Mitha, indicated that the narrative approaches had demonstrated their Pontiac compatibility with the anti-oppressive principles. While the researcher moved to look into other qualitative approaches such as ethnography, the methods are inherently anti-oppressive. As an anti-oppressive researcher, one is not necessarily dismissing the methods as inappropriate, but the objective is working with them for a reconceptualization. It is about using the general approaches to uphold the values and purposes of anti-oppressive research. As this kind of researcher, the intention is to use both the quantitative and qualitative approaches, precisely the narrative constructive research approach, optimally and transform the research into an anti-oppressive study. The primary principles of anti-oppressive analysis have influenced how the research is conducted since the different findings are to be critically analyzed following those tenets.
The indigenous research methodology has also been identified as an anti-oppression research method. The approach negated the previous studies on indigenous perspectives, especially since non-indigenous frameworks. This approach does not conform to the approaches taken up by the archetypal methodologies, which build in the researcher’s knowledge then shared to others (Wilson, 2001, 176). Instead, this method emphasized relationships and not realities. It studies the connections as it discourages indigenous cultural appropriation from an absence of appropriate relationships. Applying this methodology in research will have the researcher fundamentally focus on the relational accountabilities instead of being valid and rigorous. It will examine the role of the relationships. The researchers could fulfill the roles and not focus on judging what is right or wrong. This approach insists on the data collection that starts from establishing relationships with the indigenous communities. This approach is also applicable in conjunction with other ruminant research methods, including CRT and the constructivist theory; instead of concentrating on the indigenous research paradigms, the approach will advocate indigenous psychology (Wilson, 2001, 176). In its entirety, the approach will have motivated researchers to build and share information among themselves and also the communities.
Gaudry (2015) looked into the challenges affiliated with the indigenous research approach, which is fundamental in mitigating them. The study asserted that researchers need to place the communities’ needs above others so that the prevailing viewpoints could be decolonized, the current perceptions becoming the starting point or creation of knowledge to be used by the indigenous communities and dismantling the community structure fosters colonial structures in these communities. However, this kind of extraction research is problematic as it eliminates the context, values, and actual struggles that the indigenous communities have to deal with. The researchers will take information from the participants and interpret it for the third parties (Gaudry, 2015). This approach will perpetuate dysfunctional communities, leading to external interventions. The research indicated that insurgency needs to be used instead of incorporating the extraction studies done to the detriment of the indigenous communities. The insurgency research is based on four tents. The research is to respect their communities and their worldview. The conclusions should benefit these communities, researchers are responsible for these communities, and the studies should inspire more direct action.
Importance of Anti-Oppressive Research
One main reason anti-oppressive research is fundamental to society is its importance to the indigenous communities who are constantly oppressed. The discussion on the politics of academic writing would have one scholar, Cheryl Smith, indicate that colonialism, racism, and cultural imperialism have not happened in societies outside of the gates of research institutions (Smith, 1999, 37). Academic writing has been considered ‘writing back,’ explicitly writing about the past. How the research is conducted and written will potentially attract distinct interpretations of the issues. The research methods I have selected allow asking questions such as who writes the recipient of the writing and the particular circumstances during the research. Finding answers to these questions seems like getting insights into the ingredients that make the politics of interpretation (Smith, 1999, 37). These questions are essential, primarily when different approaches are used during the questioning process concerning indigenous communities.
Understanding the anti-oppressive research methods and processes remains fundamental in different fields, including crime and justice studies. Anti-oppressive research is known for being all about power and relationships. In this case, the concept of power relationships refers to the dynamics between balances or ratios of power between persons and social units (Brown and Strega, 2005, 7). To this effect, all human relationships are essentially relations of power. Regarding the anti-oppressive research, various power relationships are foregrounded between the knower and the known, between the groups of knowers, between the knowers and external researchers, and between the researchers and external institutions and the ideological paradigms. Constant attention is given to the power relations in this research (Brown and Strega, 2005, 7). When it comes to crime and justice, the anti-oppressive methods take root in social work and focus on raising the social justice commitments to the value and improving the outcomes for those that are to be served, considering that the crime and justice systems have for the longest time been based on power hierarchies which have to build the power of particular social classes at the expense of other marginalized communities. Researchers identifying the group identities or affiliations that have been created within the crime and justice systems based on one’s race, class, or gender will prompt them to understand the array of experiences the different individuals experience during their interactions with the system. Therefore, using this approach in its research will minimize the power hierarchies. This will be achieved by providing feasible proposals that will assist in building the power for the marginalized identities and reduce the unfair power levels vested on the privileged status members. This research holds a robust orientation towards human rights and social justice.
Conclusively, anti-oppressive research methods are needed to counter the western dominance in conventional research approaches that have projected the indigenous communities to be dysfunctional. These Approaches will help develop the right narratives for these communities from their actuarial realities, and the interpretations need to be accurate.
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