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Capturing life histories about movements into and out of poverty : a road with pits and bumps

Tineke Schiettecat (UGent) , Griet Roets (UGent) and Michel Vandenbroeck (UGent)
(2018) QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK. 17(3). p.387-404
Author
Organization
Abstract
In order to take into account the power imbalances typically implicated in knowledge production about the complex social problem of poverty, social work researchers have increasingly acknowledged the importance of grasping the viewpoints and perspectives of people in poverty situations. In this contribution, we accordingly reflect on a current life history research project that retrospectively explores the life stories of parents with young children with regard to their mobility into and out of poverty that is examined in dynamic interaction with social work interventions. In this article, we discuss methodological and ethical challenges and complexities that we unexpectedly encountered in our research venture, as illustrated by three exemplary vignettes. These examples demonstrate issues of power between the researcher and the research participants that are not only inevitable, but also generate dilemmas, struggles and ambiguities that often remain underexposed in the ways scientific insights are reported. Rather than disguising these pits and bumps, we argue for a reflexive research stance which makes these issues of power in knowledge production susceptible to contemplation and scrutiny.
Keywords
Biographical turn, life history, poverty, ethics, power

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Schiettecat, Tineke, Griet Roets, and Michel Vandenbroeck. “Capturing Life Histories About Movements into and Out of Poverty : a Road with Pits and Bumps.” QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK 17.3 (2018): 387–404. Print.
APA
Schiettecat, T., Roets, G., & Vandenbroeck, M. (2018). Capturing life histories about movements into and out of poverty : a road with pits and bumps. QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK, 17(3), 387–404.
Chicago author-date
Schiettecat, Tineke, Griet Roets, and Michel Vandenbroeck. 2018. “Capturing Life Histories About Movements into and Out of Poverty : a Road with Pits and Bumps.” Qualitative Social Work 17 (3): 387–404.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Schiettecat, Tineke, Griet Roets, and Michel Vandenbroeck. 2018. “Capturing Life Histories About Movements into and Out of Poverty : a Road with Pits and Bumps.” Qualitative Social Work 17 (3): 387–404.
Vancouver
1.
Schiettecat T, Roets G, Vandenbroeck M. Capturing life histories about movements into and out of poverty : a road with pits and bumps. QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK. 2018;17(3):387–404.
IEEE
[1]
T. Schiettecat, G. Roets, and M. Vandenbroeck, “Capturing life histories about movements into and out of poverty : a road with pits and bumps,” QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 387–404, 2018.
@article{8559028,
  abstract     = {In order to take into account the power imbalances typically implicated in knowledge
production about the complex social problem of poverty, social work researchers have
increasingly acknowledged the importance of grasping the viewpoints and perspectives
of people in poverty situations. In this contribution, we accordingly reflect on a current
life history research project that retrospectively explores the life stories of parents with
young children with regard to their mobility into and out of poverty that is examined in
dynamic interaction with social work interventions. In this article, we discuss methodological
and ethical challenges and complexities that we unexpectedly encountered in our
research venture, as illustrated by three exemplary vignettes. These examples demonstrate
issues of power between the researcher and the research participants that are
not only inevitable, but also generate dilemmas, struggles and ambiguities that often
remain underexposed in the ways scientific insights are reported. Rather than disguising
these pits and bumps, we argue for a reflexive research stance which makes these issues
of power in knowledge production susceptible to contemplation and scrutiny.},
  author       = {Schiettecat, Tineke and Roets, Griet and Vandenbroeck, Michel},
  issn         = {1473-3250 },
  journal      = {QUALITATIVE SOCIAL WORK},
  keywords     = {Biographical turn,life history,poverty,ethics,power},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {387--404},
  title        = {Capturing life histories about movements into and out of poverty : a road with pits and bumps},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325016674545},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2018},
}

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