From Qualitative Research to Research as Quality Time: When Being “in the Field” is also “Coming Home”


In a paradigm of research as theft (Robbins 2006), research as a dirty word (Smith 1999), or an otherwise extractive imperial process of hurried knowledge production; qualitative research projects are often terribly momentary, fleeting, temporary endeavors – designed to last days, weeks, or perhaps months. In this epistemic context, I reflect on the value of what Dwight Conquergood has referred to as “deep hanging out” (Conquergood 2013), or what I am calling here: a methodology of research as quality time. As an ethnic studies scholar, a young researcher of color, I am intentionally blurring the lines between the researched and researcher, the subject and the object, the field and the home. With my own family as a point of departure for exploring and unpacking research problems – what I have thought of as a familia-based methodology – I seek to build a meaningful qualitative humanistic scientific research agenda. As the son of Chilean exiles, I return to Chile this summer as an outsider within (Collins 2002), un hijo becado, a nepantlerx (Anzaldúa 2009), an inbetweener (Older 2015), a bridge (Anzaldúa 2013). Thus, I am thinking and asking these questions from this space that is in-between, a space that so many activist-scholars occupy.

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo
Publication date: 
June 28, 2016
Publication type: 
Blog Entry