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Transrational Methods of Peace Research: The Researcher as (Re)source

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Abstract

This chapter takes one step towards conceptualizing a transrational peace research methodology through the lens of the researcher. It commences from the assumption that positivist, modern research tries to negate the influence of the researcher on the research topic and is guided by ideals of objectivity and neutrality, postmodern research seeks to problematize the researcher by contextualizing her position in order to make visible unexamined biases and assumptions. In postmodern manner, it is assumed that any research conducted in the field of Peace Studies cannot be separated from the researcher’s particular perspective that frames and shapes the research process. This chapter then complements the postmodern critical stance by assuming in humanistic fashion hat the researcher is both source for and resource during the research process. The text so (1) gives a very brief overview on modern and postmodern research methodologies as they are relevant for Peace Studies. It (2) renders the ontological and anthropological basis for a transrational peace research that takes the researcher as starting point, (3) elaborates the epistemological consequences of such a view and (4) briefly addresses the ethical aspects that are implicit in this transrational shift. Turning to the researcher as (re)source (5) five systemically interrelated forms of knowing are identified. The question of (6) how to possibly structure research findings is addressed. The chapter concludes with (7) a general remark about the transdisciplinary nature of such (transrational) peace research.

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... Cremin, EchavarrÍa, and Kester (2018) call for space for alternative epistemologies in peacebuilding education and argue for a "transrational pedagogy that gives attention to the emotional, embodied, and metaphysical aspects of peace learning" (p.299) to transcend the fields limited analytic, rational, and psycho-social approaches. Finally, Koppensteiner (2018; builds upon the Transrational framework towards approaches to research and facilitation. Koppensteiner (2020) particularly suggests these two as inseparable, arguing facilitation as an act of research and research as an act of facilitation that both call into existence awareness(es) at intra and inter-relational levels. ...
... Resonant relations are mind (thinking), body (sensing), heart (feeling), soul (intuiting) and spirit (witnessing) (Koppensteiner 2018;. These ideas of the matter and resonance might provide new innovative ways to conceive of peace education spaces that are supportive, engaging, and able to foster the analytical and affective (Reardon & Snauwaert 2015a;Kester, Archer & Bryant 2019) aspects required for exploring the topics of peace and masculinity. ...
Thesis
This research is about being able to return to peace education as a reputable educator. To be able to do so required research that not only found pedagogical resolutions but embodied the values I hold as central to peace education. This research is about me trying to walk my talk. I felt peace education was ineffective for many of the young men with which I worked. The research aimed to develop new innovative pedagogies for engaging young men about peace. However, it soon also became a deeply personal journey into my own relationship with masculinity and peace. This research tries to make peace with those pieces of my masculinity so I can facilitate peace with other men. The research showcases a novel methodology using autoethnography, interviews and innovative perspectives of second-order reflexivity and diffraction that propelled me to an additional research step of undertaking a Vision Quest. This approach was developed as I believe it not only provided approaches for finding resolutions to my questions but did so in ways that espoused the values of peace important to my identity. In so doing I believe diffractive autoethnography showcases a peaceful research methodology useful for undertaking research that ensures “synergy with peace values” (Cremin 2016). This approach provides the new methodology I can embrace as a peace educator. A key theme that emerged is the importance of my own being as a peace educator. This being is achieved through commitments to constantly work on myself through diffractive reflection, vulnerability, and authentic presence during interactions with others. The research also suggests a possible importance of providing opportunities for participants to similarly diffract their perspectives and supporting them craft and transition to new stages in their lives. The utility of autoethnography in particular emerged as a viable peace pedagogy for these endeavours with its ability to challenge individuals to reflect and reach out in conversation with others. In this role I seek to develop myself as an Elder rather than expert: one where I am there for participants opposed to educating them. Through this research I might finally come to believe in myself as a peace educator and come into the peaceful male I hope to be. I hope this research engages you in conversation and challenges you to reflect upon your life so we might keep the conversation going (Bochner & Riggs 2014).
... First, employing a diffractive approach to peace work implies a comprehensive engagement with the study of conflict and peace from the perspectives of mind, body, heart, spirit, and materiality conjoined. Koppensteiner (2018), for example, discusses the value brought by exploring the different ways of knowing available to us, including: somatic knowing through the body (sensing); empathic and affective knowing through the heart (feeling); intellectual knowing through the mind (thinking); intuitive knowing through the soul (intuiting); and transpersonal knowing through the spirit (witnessing) (68). These renderings allow scholars and students to experience peace and conflict from multiple sites and draw parallels within and across relational layers of knowing, and ultimately being (Dietrich 2014). ...
... This 'contact boundary' includes the material world in which these human relations are caught in mutual entanglement. Koppensteiner (2018) discusses the teacher, environment and researcher as mutual (re)sources assisting participants to explore issues through different ways of knowing and being as discussed above. This in turn affects the time, space, place, and person in intersecting ways, or what diffractive scholars describe as 'working the ruins' together (Lather 2018;St. ...
Article
This paper draws on the theoretical lens of diffraction to conceptualize a new approach to transrational peace education theory and praxis in the post-2016 posttruth political era and Industry 4.0 economic period. The paper reviews foundational concepts and approaches from key founders of the field — Paulo Freire and Betty Reardon — before turning to two contemporary peace education scholars — Wolfgang Dietrich and Hilary Cremin — to investigate the contributions of recent scholarship toward diverse diffractive possibilities for transrational peace education. In this sense, diffraction offers pluralistic views and transformative possibilities for transrational peace education in varied contexts. Transrational peace education builds upon peace education to integrate affective and aesthetic perspectives into peace education theory and praxis. Before concluding, we offer some theoretical implications and pedagogic responses for scholars seeking to work at diffractive transrational intersections. The contribution of the paper is toward theorizing new perspectives for transrational peace education theory and praxis in the 21st century.
... Commonly embedded in peace studies programmes are field studies components, in both local and international locations, which put students, researchers, and faculty in active situations. The side-by-side methodological approach takes from these experiential pedagogies and contributes to a body of research that is inclusive of the researcher in the research (Koppensteiner, 2018). The focus on developing informed understanding of the dynamic and changing nature of the research site, as well as the unpredictability of the stimuli offered in a setting, takes an interdisciplinary approach. ...
Article
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In shifting environments common to peace and conflict research, methodological grounding is rooted in the fluctuating roles undertaken by the researcher through time and space as one seeks a worldview that is experienced by research participants. This article introduces a side-by-side methodological approach, which developed through research of cross-community interaction amongst ice hockey supporters in Belfast. Influenced by qualitative research that sought to access local voices, this article moves from conceptual guidance and planning into the stands of the SSE Arena, where interviews were conducted with the person in the seat beside the researcher during ice hockey games. In doing so, this immersive methodology offers a contribution to unearthing unheard voices in this oft-studied region through the opportunity to make connection that was unscripted, aided by the informality of the research setting and the limited face-to-face interaction.
... The fifth principle of PE pedagogy that we wish to introduce is reflexivity (Cremin, 2018;Koppensteiner, 2018). Students and lecturers are encouraged to question how they fit within national and global systems of defense, militarism, capitalism, and patriarchy. ...
Article
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Chapter
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Chapter
In this chapter, I consider the conceptual premises and methodological aspects that guide my research. In order to understand what a transrational peace research methodology could look like, it is first of all necessary to ask the preliminary questions of what is to be understood by the key terms of research and knowing. Transformation, furthermore, is an important concept for elicitive and transrational approaches and I want to understand its relevance and meaning for peace research. Transrational research can only be conceived against the background of energetic, modern and postmodern methodologies from which it emerges. Hence, in order to understand transrational methodologies, this ground needs to be covered first.
Article
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The Varieties of Religious Experience : a Study in Human Nature / William James Note: The University of Adelaide Library eBooks @ Adelaide.
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