Placing Black communities under scrutiny: The importance for supportive supervisory relationships as Black female doctoral researcher researching within African Caribbean communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This paper illuminates the importance of 'good' supervision and the need for establishing relationships that offer the academic and pastoral care required to navigate the academic and emotional challenges students encounter when undertaking doctoral research. My doctoral research tells a story about ‘urban gun crime’ (UGC), a story informed by the views and experiences of African Caribbean community activists. Conscious that stories are only ever partial, I did not strive for the definitive account, but an alternative perspective from within a community under suspicion and affected by a problem inner-city violence. This insufficiently explored position produced a thesis based on an analysis of the interconnection between ‘urban gun crime’, community activism and the researcher. My thesis shows how race, racialisation and racism shape the everyday lives of Black communities in the UK. Presenting a story seldom elicited from the margin about Black activism and self-organisation. In the telling this story, I make visible my positioning; my identity as a Black woman and mother of Caribbean origin who is embedded in an African Caribbean community while simultaneously holding a research position within the academy. It compels us as researchers to consider how we approach what we do and questions if we can ever be object bystanders in our work. However, it also reveals the significance of supervision in helping us as students to stay true to our work and values by positively working with us to shape, and navigate the research we do too.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Doctoral Journey as an Emotional, Embodied, Political Experience: stories from the field
EditorsRebecca Twinley , Gayle Letherby
PublisherRoutledge
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • doctral research, good supervision, emotions,

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