A Post-colonial reflection on the Ethnographic Methodology of the DFG Project: the Investigation of Doing and Displaying Family in the Context of Refuge and Asylum am 02.11.2022

Alle Mitglieder und Freund*innen des ZSM sind herzlich zum Kolloquium mit Dr.in Jiayin Li-Gottwald eingeladen. Thema und Datum des Kolloquiums stehen im Folgenden.


Using the example of families from Somalia in Germany, DyFam study investigates how family structures, family relationships and educational practices are (re)established and negotiated in the context of refuge and asylum. Until now, little empirical attention has been paid to family relations and the practice of family education in such a context (Westphal & Aden 2020). The research is based on a qualitative-ethnographic model, and is designed to be multilingual, multi-methods and reflective (Li-Gottwald et al 2023). Taking a participatory family research approach (Walsch 2015), the project aims at collecting different types of data in multiple stages of the research (e.g. family network cards, family photographs, family interaction audios and interviews).

Based on this project, my Habilitation project addresses how transnational family structures and relationships are (re)configurated in the context of Chinese-German families (in Germany) and how they are intertwined with child upbringing practice in daily life (see Li-Gottwald 2022). The focus of this presentation is about my reflection on the methodology of DyFam and the application of the concept to my own Habilitation project by taking a intercultural perspective.

To reflect on our ethnographic research design and its applications in the field, I will firstly review our research design which is based upon the qualitative triangulation of ethnography and documentary method (Neumann 2019). I then will give examples of the family relation card collecting process. During this process I draw attention to my reflections on three choices of cards (emotional, geographical and genealogical) and the practice of completing the cards as a process of constructing knowledge with participants in the field. In doing so, I hope to give an insight into the reflective practice process with which we have engaged, based on the considerations given to colonialism/ Eurocentrism in ethnographic studies (Engel et al. 2019). Secondly, drawing on the call for the ‘sensorial turn’ (Howes 2005, Rodaway 2002) and the re-thinking of ethnographic methods with attention given to sensory perception, experience and categories (Ingold 2000), I will bring up the challenges in taking a sensory ethnography (Pink 2010, 2015) in my refugee family visits. By doing so I will give attention on a non-Westernised and postcolonially-informed ethnographic approach (Meißner 2020). 


Am 02.11.2022 von 18 - 20 Uhr



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Letzte Änderung: 18.04.2023 - Ansprechpartner: Webmaster