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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Decolonising Myself: Navigating the Researcher-Activist Identity in the Urban South Pacific


This paper charts my path from observer to action researcher – and my ex post realisation that a transition had happened in my work.  This transition happened on the fly, in the field, without me critically reflecting on it at the time, while I was studying evictions in Port Vila, Vanuatu, South Pacific.  My ethics came into direct conflict with my research approach, and I chose to change my approach.  I theorise my transformation in the modernity/coloniality literature and close by offering strategies to students and other researchers who are looking for ways to engage more deeply with, and give something back to, the communities they study.

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