What’s Love Got to Do with It? Qualitative Research and Social Justice Online
Most researchers learn from our earliest training about the importance of objectivity in our work. As scholars attempting to analyze the social justice movements of our time, however, we may also ask whether love may inform our research in meaningful ways. In this talk, I discuss the role of love (e.g., empathy, humanity, and connectedness) in qualitative social research and make the case that both validity and equity can be served by drawing on love as a research tool. From developing rapport with research participants through empathy and care, to drawing on personal experiences to analyze narratives, or employing epistemological or theoretical perspectives that privilege liberatory aims, I argue that love should be a component of our research toolkits. Moreover, as academic spaces become increasingly diverse, we may need to consider that our insistence on objectivity might have unintended exclusionary outcomes. To make the case for love, I draw on my own research on justice system-impacted Philadelphians.
Jamie Fader is a sociologist, book author, and ethnographer in the Department of Criminal Justice. Her research examines the lived experience of criminal legal system involvement, especially on members of vulnerable communities, such as adolescents, boys and men of color, and LGBTQ emerging adults. Her first book, Falling Back (2013) intensively followed a cohort of boys from inside a reform school back to their Philadelphia communities and earned the prestigious Michael J. Hindelang award from the American Society of Criminology. Her most recent book, On Shifting Ground: Constructing Manhood at the Margins (2024, University of California Press) examines how millennial men in the Frankford, Philadelphia community craft positive masculine identities in the face of declining economic opportunities and the ever-present risk of ensnarement in the legal system. For more information on Dr. Fader’s research, see her Temple profile. Her upcoming book On Shifting Ground: Constructing Manhood on the Margins was published by the University of California Press in December.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2024
- 1:00pm - 2:30pm
- Time Zone:
- Central Time - US & Canada (change)
- This is an online event.
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