How can we produce emotionally sensed knowledge on death and bereavement?

Doing research on ‘sensitive topics’, such as death and bereavement, can raise particular challenges for qualitative and cross-cultural researchers. This is often due to the deep emotions which may be evoked among both participants and researchers, and the ways that emotions are culturally produced. Our new blogpost reflects on the methodological complexities of producing ’emotionally-sensed knowledge’ about death and bereavement in our qualitative research in urban Senegal.  It summarises the key messages from our article published in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Researchers meeting local facilitators in Kaolack, Senegal

For whom and what do we grieve, when and where?

We are pleased to announce a new call for papers!

For whom and what do we grieve, when and where: : The geo-politics of diverse experiences of death, bereavement and remembrance: human and non-human

Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Annual Conference 2017, London, 29th Aug-1st Sept 2017

Session Convenors: Ruth Evans, Beth Greenough, Phil Howell, Avril Maddrell, Katie McClymont

Sponsored by: RGS-IBG Social and Cultural Geography Research Group and              Political Geography Research Group

Politics are at the core of geographies of death, dying, grieving and memorialisation (Johnson 1994; Sidaway 2009; Stevenson et al 2016), with local and national governments acting as key providers of cemeteries and crematoria and commissioners of public memorials; likewise, immigration policy and welfare regimes impact on experiences of bereavement.  Yet the politics and political processes surrounding death and how these intersect with socio-cultural differences are under-examined and little articulated. This applies to groups marginalised by monolithic and intersectional exclusion from power; likewise it applies to the politics of what, as well as who is ‘grievable’ in Butler’s (2009) terms: which species, where and when? which environments and contexts?

For these two sessions we invite conceptual, empirical and methodological papers which explore the varied political dimensions of embodied, personal, socio-cultural, geo-political, environmental and species loss through a geographical lens.

We particularly welcome contributions that address the following themes:
·         the geopolitics of intersectional migration deathscapes
·         cemetery and crematoria needs in multi-cultural society
·         minority provision in the face of hegemonic spaces and practices
·         gendered, classed and ethnic memorialscapes
·         death and bereavement in the global South
·         Post-Brexit experience of loss
·         cross-species grief
·         discursive and physical space for animals, including pets
·         memorialisation of war, including civil war and animal death
·         Loss of biospheres and habitat
·         Euthanasia
·         Extinction
·         Dialogue between human and non-human loss

Please send an abstract of 200-250 words to Katie.mcclymont@uwe.ac.uk or r.evans@reading.ac.uk by 5pm 6th February 2017.

See RGS-IBG website for further details.

 

Family ‘Troubles’, Care and Relationality in Diverse Contexts

We are pleased to announce that a selection of papers presented at the Family Troubles symposium held at the University of Reading, September 2015 will be published in a special section of Children’s Geographies journal, entitled, Family ‘troubles’, care and relationality in diverse contexts, edited by Ruth Evans, Sophie Bowlby, Lucas Gottzén and Jane Ribbens McCarthy. We will keep you posted on progress!

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Ruth’s UNRISD blog: care ethics, interdependence & care policies

After commenting on the ‘care’ chapter of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) 2016 Flagship report, Ruth Evans was invited to write a blog for the Transformation Conversation blog series. She writes:

“Care is finally receiving more of the attention it deserves in international development policy. Unpaid care and domestic work is explicitly recognized in Sustainable Development Goal 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Target 5.4 indicates this recognition should take place, “through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies”. The UNRISD 2016 Flagship report joins calls for unpaid care and domestic work to be recognized, reduced and redistributed (known as the “Triple R” framework) by means of care policies. […]

Rather than using the language of ‘burden’ and ‘dependency’, care needs to be re-framed to recognize the vulnerability and interdependence of us all. While care is often constructed as ‘women’s work’, as part of their so-called ‘natural’ nurturing roles as mothers, children, particularly girls, also take on substantial and regular care and domestic work in households where a parent, sibling or relative has a need for care related to young or older age, disability, chronic illness, mental health or substance misuse. Despite significant research evidence that children’s care work can have a range of negative impacts, as well as some positive impacts, it is often neglected within public policy. Recent research in Senegal has also shown that the death of a parent, sibling or adult relative can lead to increases in young people’s care work, which can have detrimental impacts on their well-being, education and employment outcomes”.

Read more here