Researching Russianness: A Discussion of Methods
The approach offered in this book is based on a constructivist paradigm of understanding culture. One of the main purposes of using this approach was to go beyond ‘conventional’ intellectual constructions and to explore how Russian community is defined by its members in the course of their everyday activities. Thus, instead of trying to find self-evident connections between the concepts of ‘transnationalism’, ‘multiculturalism’, and the Russian migrants’ identity, the study aimed to reveal hidden and more complex ties between representations of Russianness and the everyday lives of ordinary migrants. To do so, I had to come up with a methodology which combined elements of ethnographic qualitative research and visual methods, and which enabled me to bring together individual migrants’ experiences as well as broader ideas and images of national culture. In the following sections I will describe this method in more detail and discuss some of the key methodological issues related to the selection of participants, the negotiation of access, and the importance of anonymity when researching the actual community.
KeywordsVisual Data Visual Method Home Interview Interview Situation Interview Narrative
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