Boyden - Chapter 11 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Boyden - Chapter 11

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Buy and Download Description Methodology is a rather neglected topic in studies of under-age combatants. Research in this field generally employs a quantitative approach and is based on short-term fieldwork in which encounters with respondents are often limited to one, or at most a few, and interviews are generally carried out with a tape recorder. Moreover, research is often done from within aid organisations. These approaches normally yield responses in victim modes and tend to conceal many important aspects of lived experience (see, for example, Brett and McCallin 1996; Fleischman and Whitman 1994; Goodwin-Gill and Cohn 1994). That is to say, respondents display what I term 'victimcy', expressing their individual agency by representing themselves as powerless victims (Utas forthcoming). This is a strategy that may also be employed by refugees and internally displaced people. 'Victim' responses often form the raw material for standardised and collectivised discourses of, for instance, survivors of war or repressive regimes (see, for example, Jackson 2002; Tiljander Dahlström 2001; Handelman 1997). Victimcy is a tactical manipulation, in part, aimed at presenting an image in line with cultural ideals. However, victimcy is also a political response to real security threats, as well as an economic strategy in relation to humanitarian aid projects, and as such is an obstacle to research. Hence, it is essential to find alternative modes of data collection. Methodology is a rather neglected topic in studies of under-age combatants. Research in this field generally employs a quantitative approach and is based on short-term fieldwork in which encounters with respondents are often limited to one, or at
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