The challenge of researching violent societies: Navigating complexities in ethnography

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    Abstract

    Through use of a recent study researching democratic education and citizenship in Zimbabwe, this paper examines the methodological dilemmas and challenges faced by an ethnographer, particularly by a research student in a violent context. The article posits a bricolage strategy to navigate some of the dangers and methodological dilemmas inherent so as to bring about rigour in an environment empty of convention and lacking the rule of law. To navigate such societies ridden with violence and conflict, the bricolage strategy used a multidisciplinary approach, part of which included triangulation, mixed methods, distance and insider status. These research strategies are discussed in this paper and recommendations posited.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)162-174
    Number of pages13
    JournalIssues in Educational Research
    Volume19
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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