Elsa Bengtsson Meuller
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Emotions in methodology
Resisting violent ideological structures in the knowledge-production of extremisms
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Whilst it is important to make one’s research on violent ideologies accessible to a wider audience, there is also a risk of reinforcing structural dominance through the making of public (‘visible’) knowledge. Decolonial and Black feminist theories help us dig into the ethical messiness of making research on violent ideologies visible for ‘new’ audiences by consistently and critically asking whose knowledge is being extended and elaborated. I argue that research into extremisms benefits from using emotions through practices of reflection and introspection as part of one’s methodology. This way of researching encourages us to be more attentive to our own role as reinforcers of structural oppression through knowledge-production, as well as how we are affected by the structures, events, and people we are studying. In this chapter, I reflect on my research on misogynist incels and their male supremacist and antifeminist ideological structure. Concomitantly, I show how emotional vulnerability in knowledge-making can be a practice of self- and communal care that may serve as a radical counterweight to the violent ideologies we study and their structural enablers.

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