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Micro-Level Research in the Unresolved Conflict Zone: Methodological and Ethical Implications
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7512-9066
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this presentation I will draw on several years of explorative research into everyday lives in Abkhazia. While the vast majority of research on the de facto states is focused on the frozen conflicts and their resolution, their juridical status as well as both internal and external political relations; examples of scholarly studies analyzing micro level aspects of everyday life inside these areas are few. We can imagine that living in a de facto state has its specific characteristics related to consequences deriving from as well unresolved conflict as economic and political isolation. Knowledge about everyday life in Abkhazia originates mainly from online news media and NGO reports. In the latter, economic hardship, the lack of personal security and arbitrary treatment by local authorities is stressed as the most common threats to human wellbeing. Furthermore, these reports often focus on human rights, an important but in effect not particularly analytical approach.  

This presentation therefore aims to offer a critical alternative to news and NGO reporting by exploring how unrecognition and unresolved conflict are embodied in the everyday life experiences of Abkhazian residents. The empirical material derives from fieldwork in Gagra, Gal(i) and Sukhum(i) in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and includes interviews with respondents from the major ethnic groups in Abkhazia. I suggest that through the use of intersectional risk theory we can discern how lingering tensions and structural inequalities between different groups result in, among other things, differing patterns of mobility and unequal life chances. Moreover this presentation addresses the very conditions for doing research that involves ordinary residents inside Abkhazia and that also implies both ethical and methodological challenges, along with difficulties of access.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Caucasus, Abkhazia, ethics, risk
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37521OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37521DiVA, id: diva2:1360156
Conference
Association for Nationalities Studies World Convention 2018, New York, May 3-4 2018
Note

Part of the roundtable: 

Better Within, Across or Apart?: Making Sense of the Caucasus as a Region

Available from: 2019-10-11 Created: 2019-10-11 Last updated: 2019-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Lundgren, Minna

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf