we could argue that everything in life, in large part, has a cycle, a rhythm, a predictable heartbeat... and when that momentum is disrupted or derailed, the chain reaction can have unimaginable consequences for which we are left unprepared. in ethnographic work, relationships and local knowledge are the lifeblood of the experience. this is even more true when the work is participatory in nature, and involves multiple people with multiple perspectives, interests, intentions, and histories. so when this rhythm, this lifeblood is thinned, or halted, or cut off for even an instant, the impact is significant...

recently, i was sharing some of my experiences doing participatory research with youth with a class of graduate students in a qualitative methods class. i talked about the various projects i've been involved with over the last decade and what "participatory" has meant across those contexts. and more specifically, how i establish rapport with the youth who are involved with my research. i hadn't really articulated these aspects of my work before, and was excited to have the chance to reflect on these
here's some of what i came up with:
- a pedagogy of play
- multiple modes of participation
- researcher vulnerability
- willingness to let the focus of inquiry evolve and change

i wrote a bit about this in the handbook chapter that's coming out soon, and i'm working on expanding these aspects in a methods piece i'm writing about participatory research in a digital age. i'll also be using this space to tease out these ideas in the near future. for now, i must return to the final stages of a paper that is long overdue to our discussant in prep for the anthro meetings this week...!

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