What makes me feel embarrassed and how it can have productive outcomes was the topic of an earlier post already, so let’s dive in for part 2 of useful embarrassment in 2017:
PhD students in Australia ‘confirm’ their research proposal with a presentation at the end of their first year. Kati Marinkovic held her confirmation at the University of Melbourne this October, and I had the pleasure (while the embarrassment hadn’t hit) to read her fine report and attend her fantastic presentation.
Her project is titled “Is there a space for Participatory Action Research with Children in Disaster Risk Reduction Programs?”
Kati finds out whether and how children can be co-designers and co-researchers of disaster risk reduction programs. She collects data in both Chile and Australia, and has an impressive plan to set up a panel of co-researchers: children who live in disaster-prone environments.*
She aligns her work with a human rights perspective: children have the right to participate in decisions about their life. She cites Green (2015), saying that
“although many researchers advocate for children’s rights, many fail to involve them during the whole research process.”
And that’s where my stomach signaled a problem…embarrassment. Continue reading
This article is a collaborative effort by members of the Global Young Academy, the Young Academy of Scotland and Research Whisperer, where it was initially published (image: refugees welcome, by Ilias Bartolini, on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).
We wrote it together, with special thanks to Karly Kehoe, Debora Kayembe, Shawki Al-Dubaee, and Jonathan O’Donnell.
Academic solidarity is a core value shared by researchers all over the world. There is a recognition of the need to support, challenge and – when required – protect each other, our disciplinary integrity, and our fundamental investigative principles.
War and conflict disrupt (and sometimes destroy) societies. As part of that process, academics can be specifically targeted. In Free to Think 2017, the organisation Scholars at Risk analysed 257 reported attacks on higher education communities in 35 countries over a period of 12 months. Along with fellow citizens, academics often need to flee conflict zones.
As researchers already working in a certain location, we can offer significant support to fellow academics who are refugees. The ways of getting involved vary from minor and short-term initiatives to substantial and more long-term programs.
The list that follows is by no means complete, but it serves as an idea generator to help build a diverse range of activity. A challenge at the start of any initiative is finding out who the at-risk or refugee academics in your community are, and to make it easier for them to find colleagues in universities or local scholarly associations.
Possible short-term initiatives include:
- assisting in providing university library access;
- assisting in obtaining affiliation as a research associate or fellow;
- assisting in obtaining a university email address;
- supporting in writing a country-appropriate curriculum vitae (CV) or a grant application;
- advocating for the establishment of support systems by writing letters to decision-makers in the university or professional society.
Possible long-term initiatives include:
“I was angry at everything. Angry that my mother was dead, I was sad as well. I was angry that my dad was in prison, I wanted to see him but that wasn’t allowed. That made me angry.”
This is a quote by a young Dutch girl whose father killed her mother. More than a third of female homicides worldwide are perpetrated by an intimate partner. Many of these women are parents. Since I’m back in Australia, I’ve tried to look into the local figures: in total, probably over 1,000 Australian children have been bereaved by fatal domestic violence in the past 20 years.
It is an understatement to say that losing a parent at the hands of the other parent has a major and lasting impact. It turns children’s worlds entirely upside down: at once they lose both parents – one to murder and one to prison or suicide – as well as their home and school environment.
Professionals have to make fundamental decisions for children after a domestic homicide. Where should the children live? Can it be with the family of the victim, or with the family of the perpetrator, or should it be a ‘neutral’ family? Should they have contact with the perpetrating parent? What kind of mental health support do the children and their caregivers need? Continue reading
“My ‘relationship’ with my Dad? I don’t have one….I feel like I am a pebble at the bottom of a stream and my Dad is this angry stream bashing me against all the other pebbles.”
This is one of the quotes that Stephanie Holt from Trinity College Dublin showed us this week. She presented an overview of her research with children in Ireland.
Domestic violence is a key marker for child abuse and neglect. Stephanie talked about the combination of fathers’ emotional absence on the one hand, and physically abusive presence on the other. She particularly focused on the context of ‘coercive control’, which limits someone’s freedom of movement and expression.
Being different, feeling powerless, and being scared were core themes for the children:
“I felt that I had a neon sign that told everyone what was going on in my family… I felt I wasn’t on the same wavelength as people…I thought that they were all happy families or whatever and I was kind of like the outcast”
“He shouts and curses and calls my Mum really, really mean names. I would say ‘stop Dad’, but he doesn’t listen.”
Stephanie showed that even very young children were able to convey experiences with domestic violence.
The children also talked about the pervasiveness of domestic violence. It was with them Continue reading