This article is derived from conversations among four early career researchers on epistemic inequalities and challenges faced in universities, more especially in carrying out research. The conversations took place in the context of a qualitative research laboratory centered on the global South. We share experiences and issues associated with being trained as researchers in the global North and doing fieldwork in the global South. We also reflect on dominant structures and processes in universities and the marginalization of “other” or “alternative” knowledge systems. Whilst recognising the many ongoing and parallel academic discussions on such issues, we posit that there remains a need to carve out more discursive spaces for early career researchers to openly discuss their practical experiences, concerns, and strategies in challenging and overcoming issues such as the colonial gaze, racialization and coloniality of power, and to share appropriate approaches for research.


Global South, qualitative research methodologies, early career researchers, discursive spaces, decolonial literature and discourse

Author Bio(s)

Sarah Ahmed, PhD (ORCID: 0000-0001-8807-1281), is an assistant professor of Health Sciences and Women’s and Gender Studies at Providence College, USA. Her research lies at the intersection of global health, gender and development, and has been published in Gender and Society, PLOSOne, and SSM-Population Health. Her current book project, “Lady Health Workers in Pakistan: Agency and Representation through Polio Eradication,” examines the structural and cultural dimensions of an internationally funded healthcare initiative through the everyday lives of female health workers in Pakistan. Please direct correspondence to sahmed1@providence.edu.

Navjotpal Kaur, PhD (ORCID: 0000-0002-7379-6009), is a PASIFIC Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. Nav’s primary research interests are men and masculinities, international migration, transnationalism, gender, and the environment. Her current book project maps the intersection of historical power and privilege associated with gender and caste and explores how these intersections are pivotal to the materiality of contemporary caste bodies. Nav’s research is published in Global Networks; Gender, Place and Culture; Social Science and Medicine and several other journals. Please direct correspondence to navjotpal.kaur@ifispan.edu.pl

Malida Mooken, PhD (ORCID: 0000-0003-1567-3825), is a lecturer and the Associate Director of the post-experience Master of Management in the Faculty of Management at The University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Her research is centred on social and economic organization in the context of regional/territorial development, with particular interests in developing action-oriented research processes. Please direct correspondence to malida.mooken@ubc.ca.

Corresponding author: Sumeet Sekhon, PhD (ORCID: 0000-0002-5758-7063), is a researcher in the Faculty of Management at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan. Sumeet's research evaluates the impact of self- help group-based microcredit programmes on the lives of women in North India. She also examines the interplay of poverty, caste, and gender on the formation and functioning of self-help groups. Please direct correspondence to sumeet.sekhon@ubc.ca.

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