Doing culture and diversity justice: Using peer-to-peer ethnography in research on young people, ethnicity and sexuality

Samira van Bohemen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The challenge in this study is to ‘do justice’ to ethnic diversity in research on young people and sexuality in the Netherlands. I argue that current research practices are unintentionally implicated in constructing and maintaining ethnic boundaries, tending to (re)produce very limited views of ethnicity and culture as fixed identities that steer youths towards adopting adverse and risky sexual behaviours. I argue that this tradition fails to ‘see’ the quintessentially social, multifaceted and contextual natures of ethnicity, sexuality and culture, which are best understood as being ‘always in the making’ within young people's lived and embodied sexual experiences. Consequently, I went beyond conventional sociological approaches that are crucial in reproducing current biases and severely limit the researcher's access to these experiences. The methodological solution I explored is a peer-to-peer ethnography of sexuality at parties. I discuss the merits, challenges and limitations of this approach, along with the practical and ethical choices made when conducting the fieldwork. I then review some of the main results and the value of this methodology for addressing key issues in contemporary cultural sociology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101615
Number of pages10
JournalPoetics
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Dutch Fund for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (FWOS) [? 237.680] and by an EUR-Fellowship Grant [?135.000]

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author

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