One unusual aspect of UK NHS Research Ethics Committees (RECs) is that, for at least the past decade, it has been standard practice to invite applicants into committee meetings to answer questions about their proposed research and the ethical issues it might raise. This chapter explores the role of meeting people face to face in trust decisions to examine the crucial role of such attendance. Historically, this chapter examines the policy decisions in the early 2000s to expand invitations to applicants which were typically seen as an idiosyncratic practice on the part of a small number of RECs (in Wales and London, for example) at the request of the pharmaceutical industry (which saw such attendance as increasing the efficiency of ethics review). The ethnographic component of this chapter draws on observations and REC members’ discussions of such attendances, exploring those aspects of applicants’ demeanour and response to questions – their ‘presentation of self’ – that persuade or dissuade RECs to approve their applications. As part of this, the chapter will explore the way in which RECs interpret applicants’ characteristics (for example, arrogance in response to questions) in terms of how research participants will be treated as well as the kinds of knowledge-based resources (about clinical practice for example) that are hard to articulate in a written application, but which applicants can draw on to persuade RECs that they are trustworthy.
Chapter 4 focuses on the adaptation of Ukrainian migrants in Poland captured as a process from drifting to anchoring. It argues that the concept of anchoring allows for understanding of the simultaneity, temporality and flexibility of Ukrainian migrants’ attachments as well as the complexity and changeability of their ‘settlement’. It helps to capture their dynamic identities and the complex mechanisms of settling down. The adaptation and settling of Ukrainian migrants is discussed here in relation to their ‘lasting temporariness’, linked to the nexus of legal constraints (lack of an established legal status – with only three interviewees holding a permanent residence permit), cultural and geographical proximity enabling individuals to cross identity and cultural boundaries, as well as spatial circulation and the maintenance of various simultaneous attachments and links with the country of origin and the host state. The complex and dynamic processes of adaptation and settling are also influenced by Ukrainian migrants’ multiple and fluid identities and ambiguous position in Poland, constructed and perceived by Poles as neither strangers nor the same; neither on the move nor settled. The SAST study showed the Ukrainian migrants’ different layers of anchoring in Poland, from external footholds related to the legal and institutional framework and work, through more complex anchors embedded in social networks and to deeper internal footholds, linked to high competencies in Polish language, familiarity and the constructed cultural closeness, as well as European aspirations, which could coexist with the revival of Ukrainian civic activism in the face of the political developments and the military conflict in Ukraine.
Whereas the previous parts of the monograph focused on the positive functions of anchoring – that is, recovering the feeling of safety and stability – Chapter 7 also considers negative aspects of certain anchors that disadvantage or disable migrants, producing insecurities and reinforcing exclusions. It demonstrates some possible disadvantaging anchors, particularly those of an involuntary and aggravating character such as those related to illnesses or substance abuse. This part shows ambiguity in establishing certain footholds and countereffects of maintaining some anchors, including new types of insecurities produced, for example, by too strong grounding in the ethnic community and closest family circles. In contrast to Chapter 6 underlining migrants’ agency, this part concentrates on constraints and inequalities in the processes of anchoring. Drawing on Cooper’s (2008) work on the inequality of security, the SAST research displayed how individuals’ positionality influenced both their levels of exposure to risk and uncertainty as well as migrants’ capacities for agency, ability to navigate, deal with challenges and make use of opportunities.
The introduction explains the overall goals of the monograph, outlines the context of the research, presents its main arguments and provides an overview of the whole book. The main goal of the book is to theorise complex, multidimensional and flexible adaptation processes and settling practices among migrants through the lens of the author’s original concept of anchoring. The working definition of anchoring refers to the process of establishing significant footholds which allow migrants to satisfy their need for safety and restore their socio-psychological stability in new life settings. The monograph argues that the established categories employed in migration studies such as ‘integration’ and ‘settlement’ are not sufficient for us to understand and examine the ways of accommodation, functioning and experience of contemporary migrants. It is argued that the concept of anchoring, developed through research with Polish migrants in the UK and Ukrainian migrants in Poland, might provide a more integrative and comprehensive, transdisciplinary approach to analysing the processes of migrants’ adaptation and settling, by linking the existing notions while overcoming their limitations, as well as by underlining psychological needs for safety and stability and the additional value of capturing the processuality and multi-layeredness of the analysed processes.
Sarita Malik, Churnjeet Mahn, Michael Pierse, and Ben Rogaly
In this chapter we offer the critical and theoretical backdrop to Creativity
and resistance, a project designed to understand the connection between
creativity and resistance for marginalised communities. We begin by
discussing the context of the ‘hostile environment’ in the UK and the rise
in xenophobia and racism which has accompanied Brexit. We extend this
discussion into a broader consideration of ethnonationalism and histories of
racism and empire to understand the value in connecting different
geographical case studies in order to read a continuity and commonality
between types of artistic resistance. Through a discussion of grassroots
creative movements, we consider how different kinds of power structures have
the potential to create more inclusive models for society and how creativity
can become a crucial tool for enacting social change. Finally, the chapter
introduces the chapters in the volume, all of which explore different
dimensions of the arguments raised in the introduction.
This chapter outlines the broad argument of the book – that Research Ethics Committees (RECs) are bodies that serve to assess and attest to the trustworthiness of medical researchers. This is explored through a discussion of the origins of RECs in the self-regulation of the medical profession, and the way in which the structure of prior review of research requires regulatory decisions before research takes place. Focusing on work exploring the British regulatory state of the late twentieth century, this introduction makes the point that RECs – with their focus on interpersonal trust – sit uneasily within the context of modern regulation which has tended to move towards retrospective audit as a mode of governance. The chapter then goes on to discuss methodological issues and then introduce the specific sites at which observations were carried out, and explore the way in which previous ethnographic authors writing about trust decisions have operationalised their ideas to enable analysis.
The complexities of ‘radical openness’ in collaborative
Daisy Hasan-Bounds, Sarita Malik, and Jasber Singh
Working with grassroots creative acts and producers is an attempt to connect
theory and practice. Chapter 2 reflects on some of the complexities of
co-production and how ‘lived theory’ has been implemented in Creativity and
resistance. Co-creating research has been underpinned by the hope that such
collaborative practice would help to achieve more inclusion, thereby
providing a better understanding of the needs, predicaments and contexts of
diverse communities. In critically outlining how the research has sought to
take the actual experiences of research collaborators as a starting point,
this chapter draws on the team’s intellectual framing and development in the
project of bell hooks’ concept of ‘radical openness’, as well as on critical
reflections from research team members and producers, community groups and
academic partners. The chapter reflects on the extent to which a
collaborative research approach can open up the opportunity to produce a new
kind of research space in which collaborators help to shape the research
process. We ask to what extent the project succeeded in mobilizing the idea
of ‘lived theory’. We also ask, to what extent decolonisation can be
achieved in a context where disenfranchised communities are actively part of
the research process and are situated as agents making claims on their own
terms through creative practice.
This chapter explores the way in which Research Ethics Committees (RECs) use written materials – application forms, information sheets, and consent forms – to assess researchers’ trustworthiness. Historically, drawing on material from a range of sources, it highlights the way in which REC application forms have developed over the years and the social and political pressures that have shaped the form they take. A crucial aspect of this will be the role of RECs in changing standards around informed consent, from witnessed verbal consent (the gold standard promoted by the Medical Research Council in the mid-1960s) to written informed consent, which became a requirement less than a decade later. Ethnographically, this chapter explores how RECs use certain aspects of application forms as ‘trust warrants’, attesting to researchers’ trustworthiness and competence. These include specific forms of terminology – for example, converting the US term ‘research subject’ into the UK REC-approved ‘research participant’ – willingness to expend resources to improve information – for example, translating information sheets into different languages to allow wider recruitment into research – and the way in which potential threats to NHS resources (particularly in the case of commercially sponsored research) are mitigated.
Churnjeet Mahn, Sarita Malik, Michael Pierse, and Ben Rogaly
In this chapter we outline the theory and practice that undergirded our
solidarity in the project. The chapter contains some of the readings, the
references, the routes, that we all brought into the project to understand
how creative forms of resistance have responded to hostile environments and
why. We consider in particular how our work was inspired by bell hooks’
concept of ‘radical openness’, reflect on border art as resistance and
expand on what we mean by interruption. At the end we consider some of the
potential contradictions entailed when salaried academics attempt to engage
in work that is radically transformational.
Churnjeet Mahn, Anne Murphy, Raghavendra Rao KV, Poonam Singh, Ratika Singh, and Samia Singh
In this chapter we focus on creative approaches to understanding what
Partition means today in a part of East Punjab close to the Indo-Pak border,
more specifically, the village of Preet Nagar. Preet Nagar was founded as an
intended community by the Punjabi literary figure Gurbakhsh Singh
(1895–1977), a member of the Progressive Writers Association (founded in
1936). The chapter is based on our work in Preet Nagar between 2017–19,
which used the village’s history as an artists’ colony with a radical
humanist, socialist vision as the starting point for an interruption of
mainstream methods in representations of Partition history. The chapter
offers an introduction to the importance of the Progressive Writers
Association in the 1930s and how the principles of inclusive and
co-operative artistic work have, and have not, persisted into the
contemporary lives of the residents of Preet Nagar. It argues that while the
original vision of Preet Nagar may have been disrupted by the violence and
legacy of Partition, there are still vital connections to pre-Partition
Punjab which can offer the framework for radical and inclusive arts
practice, including art and literature.