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Collective Biography: A New Chapter for Exploring Agency in the South African Context

  • Samantha van Schalkwyk
Chapter

Abstract

The author explores the processes and practices of the research in this chapter. She begins by outlining the epistemology and African-centred feminist theory which have shaped her choice of methodology. In the first part of the chapter, the author unpacks central features of the research—representation, revisiting the data and dynamics around researcher positionality and presence. She then unpacks the distinct methodology, collective biography, which is collectively based, longitudinal and which foregrounds the researcher’s partnerships with the women’s group. The reader is taken through a journey of the research process and introduced to the creative strategies such as role-plays, drama, and visual memory work. This is interweaved with the women’s voices and imaginings that constitute the first layer of narration for this research. The chapter ends with comments on the theoretical lens used to make sense of the women’s voices. The author puts forward a ‘new chapter’ for gender research for the African continent.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha van Schalkwyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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