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Talanoa as empathic apprenticeship

Talanoa as empathic apprenticeship Talanoa has been defined as ‘talking about nothing in particular’, ‘chat’ or ‘gossip’. It is within the cultural milieu of talanoa that knowledge and emotions are shared and new knowledge is generated. Talanoa has recently been taken up by development researchers and others as a culturally appropriate research method in Pacific contexts. However, talanoa is often treated as synonymous with ‘informal open‐ended interviews’ and tends to gloss over the deep empathic understanding required in such exchanges. Highlighting the connection between talanoa and empathy is vital in ensuring that development practitioners and researchers are implicitly aware of the political dimensions, cultural appropriacy and socio‐ecological impact of their research methods. This connection is also critical in illuminating how talanoa as a method may decolonise research in the Pacific, inform the decolonisation of research in other cultural contexts, and contribute to ethical and empowering development policy and practice. We will argue for the merits of what we refer to here as ‘empathic apprenticeship’: an intentional, embodied, emotional, and intersubjective methodology and process between the researcher and the participant. An empathic apprenticeship has the potential to enhance shared understandings between all human beings and is essential if talanoa is intended as a decolonising research methodology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asia Pacific Viewpoint Wiley

Talanoa as empathic apprenticeship

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Victoria University of Wellington and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
ISSN
1360-7456
eISSN
1467-8373
DOI
10.1111/apv.12060
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Talanoa has been defined as ‘talking about nothing in particular’, ‘chat’ or ‘gossip’. It is within the cultural milieu of talanoa that knowledge and emotions are shared and new knowledge is generated. Talanoa has recently been taken up by development researchers and others as a culturally appropriate research method in Pacific contexts. However, talanoa is often treated as synonymous with ‘informal open‐ended interviews’ and tends to gloss over the deep empathic understanding required in such exchanges. Highlighting the connection between talanoa and empathy is vital in ensuring that development practitioners and researchers are implicitly aware of the political dimensions, cultural appropriacy and socio‐ecological impact of their research methods. This connection is also critical in illuminating how talanoa as a method may decolonise research in the Pacific, inform the decolonisation of research in other cultural contexts, and contribute to ethical and empowering development policy and practice. We will argue for the merits of what we refer to here as ‘empathic apprenticeship’: an intentional, embodied, emotional, and intersubjective methodology and process between the researcher and the participant. An empathic apprenticeship has the potential to enhance shared understandings between all human beings and is essential if talanoa is intended as a decolonising research methodology.

Journal

Asia Pacific ViewpointWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2014

References