UK Dissertation Forum Forums Research Methodology How to decide on Research Methodology in Indigenous research?

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    • #701
      Jason Evans

      Hello! I am a PhD student of Sociology, my research investigates the Penan people, a nomadic indigenous community that remains to be hunters and gatherers. My research, studies the impact that widespread deforestation has left on dozens of Penan families, with no other choice but to flee their ancestral homes. Once displaced, these hunter-gatherer tribes, who had lived in harmony with the rainforest of Malaysia for thousands of years, found themselves without a livelihood. My research also studies the effects of having to adopt new means of livelihood, within the community. In order to study this phenomenon, my research guide has been insisting on conducting interviews of the Penan people. Even though I have read sufficiently about the ethical responsibilities that needs to be considered while conducting interviews with indigenous communities.
      However I am still perplexed in using interviews as the mode of communication (since it would require help of a translator). I would appreciate if someone could suggest any other appropriate ways to approach such a closely knit community that is far from the modernized idea of sociology and anthropology. So that this exercise would not just be a version of elitist journalism but would allow me a good glimpse in the lives of the community.

      • This topic was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Jason Evans.
      • This topic was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Jason Evans.
    • #707

      Hi, your apprehension is absolutely reasonable, I am not trying to generalize but I faced a similar experience when I was writing a research paper on the tribal community of the Bhils in Gujrat, India. In conducting research on indigenous communities, first hand communication is an invariable limitation which can be mitigated if you could rope in any experienced and quality translator but it cannot be totally done away with. It could be helpful if you could reach out to any journalist or an anthropologist who have worked around and about your research area.

    • #710

      Hi your research sounds interesting as well as intriguing, humanistic studies is undoubtedly a complex domain for research. As much you have manged to describe about your research here, on the basis of it I am unable to suggest a precise research methodology. However currently there are innumerable studies being conducted on tribal communities of South America and Native Americans, using ingenious ways that to communicate and understand the tribal culture as well as people. The following portals might help you get a number of research papers, which might as well give you a chance to evaluate the various methodologies employed in these papers and then work your way through it.

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