This paper is a set of reflections from researchers in the Center for Sustainable Communities, University of Canberra, drawing out emerging lessons from the process of re-configuring research methods during COVID-19. The pandemic has presented new spaces of negotiation, struggle, and interdependence within research projects and research teams. It has left researchers often uncertain about how to do their work effectively. At the same time, it has opened up opportunities to re-think how researchers undertake the work of research.
There is widespread agreement that current climate change scenarios mean we have to change how we live on this planet. Yet our current understandings of social and behavioural change seem insufficient for the task at hand. In this paper we explore Bruno Latour’s notion of ‘learning to be affected’, and we argue that this idea of bodily learning seems well-suited to thinking about how people can be moved to act in response to the human and nonhuman world that is all around us.
This essay reflects on two chapters on the theme of 'social entrepreneurship, relationality and the possible.' The essay explores how these chapters take a relational view of the world by featuring the importance of the relationships between people, and between people and ‘things’. What emerges from the two chapters are insights into social entrepreneurship as a social change practice not so much for finding accommodations in what is already present but for shifting the frame of what is thinkable and doable.
This chapter reflects on the role that an experimental social research approach might play in coming to terms with a future in which the certainties of the past have gone and the future lies before us unknown. This experimental approach means setting aside the idea of research as a neutral and objective activity in which there is critical distance between the researcher and the object of study.
Reflecting on the process of field research this paper explores the challenges of bringing together empirical research and the experience of doing development work, with the complex and often speculative theorising of contemporary political and social philosophy.
By pragmatically drawing connections across theoretical differences, it is hoped that researchers will engage critically with their own theoretical commitments and assumptions, thus opening themselves up to new possibilities and to new creative ways of coming together.
This chapter introduces the focus group as a method for qualitative social research.