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Refugees, Disadvantage and Responsibilities of Research

Post 4 of 30

Have you sometimes regretted not to have published more from your PhD? Because at the time you were too occupied with staying financially afloat (in combination with some serious health issues) I simply didn’t have the capacity to write for publication. The refugee crises over the last years has highlighted again how contemporary my research still is—but not current enough to publish.

Looking into the issues first generation refugees experience, who arrived in a strange land by decree of their parents. How a school structure that provided a safe space enabled them to grow and move on. How children with socio-economic disadvantage experience academic set-backs equal if not even worse to those the refugee children experienced. How despite—against all expectations—the experience of physically crossing borders, of experiencing a significant change, teaches that change is possible. While, having a strong local identity, which at times does not even permit to cross gang-boundaries, can inhibit even possibility thinking.

I remember how upset I was that all I could say at the end of the project was: ‘I contributed to the discourse in the field.’

But what good does this do? What does it even mean? Is there a responsibility for a stronger voice? Is it okay to just contribute to the discourse, without any impact?

Reflection on Day 4

Yesterday I was all Meta and in the flow. Today I started out not quite sure what I would want to write about and then there were suddenly 5 different post ideas. But somehow the recent developments in Syria, reminded me of my PhD topic and the one thing I always regretted: not having published more. I have at least one more friend who has the same regret. Anyone else out there? What stopped you?

Categories: Research SOTL The PhD Years

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Nathalie Sheridan

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