Participatory Methods in Research on Immigrant and Diaspora Communities

Anna Rastas (University of Tampere)

20 de janeiro de 2015, 17h00

Sala 2, CES-Coimbra

Commentators: Lorena Sancho Querol (CES) and Giovanni Allegretti (CES)


My studies on racism, multiculturalism and African diaspora(s) have examined possibilities for more inclusive narratives of European societies as transnational spaces. Based on my projects focusing on the epistemological (methodological, ethical, political) challenges in research on new minorities in multiethnic societies, I argue, that many transformations of societies and cultures due to migration can best be identified and examined in circumstances that allow people to perform their multiple identifications and agency as transnational and/or diasporic subjects. In my lecture I will explain how I have put these ideas into practise by applying participatory research methods.

By using my on-going ethnographic action research project as an example, I will discuss the advantages (and some disadvantages) of participatory methods in research on immigrant and diaspora communities and the multi-ethnic reality of European societies.

The action phase of my on-going project on African diaspora communities and cultures is an exhibition on the African presence in Finland at The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas (April - December 2015, see ), planned and organized in close collaboration with various African diaspora communities.


Anna Rastas (Dr.Soc.Sc., Docent) is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Social research (IASR) at the University of Tampere, where she has been working since 2001 as a professor (2012-14) and assistant professor of social anthropology, and as a researcher and lecture teaching graduate and post-graduate courses on racism and anti-racism, multiculturalism, transnational and diaspora studies, critical childhood studies and ethnographic and qualitative research methods.

She has edited several books on racism and multiculturalism in Finland and published articles and chapters on racialized identities, transnational subjectivities, representations of Africans, and African diasporas. Her other research interests include critical childhood and youth studies and participatory research methodologies.

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This lecture includes the initiative "Collection of Conversations over experiences of Participatory Museology" a scientific product of the research project "SoMus"[1], in collaboration with the "African Presence in Finland" research and exhibition project, from the University of Tampere (Finland) and the Finnish Labour Museum WERSTAS.

Activity within the research groups Cities, Cultures, and Architecture (CCArq) and Democracy, Citizenship and Law (DECIDe)

[1] SoMus (Society in the Museum: study on cultural participation in European local museums) is a research project developed by Lorena Sancho Querol and co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Operational Programme of Human Potential, together with national funds through Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), in the context of the Post-Doctoral Grant with the reference SFRH/BPD/95214/2013.