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Inclusive LGBTQ+ fieldwork: Advancing spaces of belonging and safety

Written by: Martin Zebracki, Aydan Greatrick
Published on: Apr 25, 2023

LGBTQ+ inclusivity in fieldwork
Photo credit: Chudacove/Adobe Stock

Abstract

Increasing everyday levels of LGBTQ+ phobia and other forms of identity-based prejudice reveal the need for systematic attention across the versatile geographic discipline to the belonging and safety of LGBTQ+ field researchers. Through an expanded reflection on Bracken and Mawdsley's (2004) account ‘“Muddy glee”: Rounding out the picture of women and physical geography fieldwork’ (Area, 36, pp. 280–286), we consider the major issues – including forms of discrimination, exclusion and, sometimes, violence – that LGBTQ+ researchers (and more widely fieldworkers engaging LGBTQ+ communities) encounter at different stages of field research. We pursue a critical dialogue with opportunities and limitations provided by field, disciplinary as well as home institutional contexts and practices, including ethics and risk assessments, codes of conduct and support levels (or rather their deficiencies).

Short Abstract

Increasing everyday levels of LGBTQ+ phobia and other forms of identity-based prejudice reveal the need for systematic attention across the versatile geographic discipline to the belonging and safety of LGBTQ+ field researchers. Through an expanded reflection on Bracken and Mawdsley's (2004) ‘“Muddy glee”: Rounding out the picture of women and physical geography fieldwork’ (Area, 36, pp. 280–286), we consider the major issues – including forms of discrimination, exclusion, and, sometimes, violence – that LGBTQ+researchers (and more widely fieldworkers engaging LGBTQ+ communities) encounter at different stages of field research. We pursue a critical dialogue with opportunities and limitations provided by field, disciplinary as well as home institutional contexts and practices.

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