This summer, I will be living in Athens doing research on immigration by performing interviews of people, observing their behavior and interacting with them in stores, parks, buses, schools, restaurants, cafes, hotels, etc., which are many of the principal places where culture or conflict emerges.
So, for the most part this will be qualitative research. However, to place this research into the proper context I will also be analyzing the historical and economic impacts that immigration has had on the people in Greece, so it will have a qualitative aspect to it as well.
But the overall project will be qualitative in nature.
The interviews will entail asking difficult, politically sensitive and emotional charged questions that get to the heart of the immigration issues people are confronting.
My studies into the ethics of aid, assistance, and social contracts have revealed that in order to be of any assistance to people who are suffering in other countries, or in this country for that matter, it is imperative for me to understand the factors that have helped to shape and continue to influence the development of their identities and circumstances.
My background with human rights and international justice issues will be highly useful because the forced migrations and forced segregation that people are subject to are complex moral and ethical issues that are fused with politics and conceptions of justice.
By ignoring such factors, there is a potential to do more harm than good.
The ethnographic research of the project will help us to discover what the people, which includes both the migrants to and the citizens of Greece themselves believe shape their identities, the composition of the circumstances they face, what they consider just, permissible and impermissible, and what obligations they believe humans they have to one another.
Given that all of these factors contribute to the outcomes of any complex situation, especially one as sensitive as immigration during economically challenging times, it then becomes necessary to consolidate political, economic, and historical data, as well as, the qualitative data collected from individuals to correctly ascertain the development and constraints of that situation.
This is what I hope to accomplish, or at least begin while studying abroad in Greece this summer.
For more information on Immigration, Diaspora and Apartheid you can follow the link below: