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Posts tagged ‘Carol Ewashen’

Decolonizing Health Research on Female Genital Cutting


The current ANS featured article addresses a social/cultural and health issue that has engaged intense discussion in many circles for a number of years – the issue of genital cutting.  The article is titled “A Decolonizing Methodology for Health Research on Female Genital Cutting,” authored by Jane Werunga, MSN, RN; Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, PhD, RN and Carol Ewashen, PhD, RN, and it is available for free download on the ANS website while it is featured. We invite you to download your copy of this article and return here to participate in discussion of ideas and issues addressed here.

Ms. Werunga shared this message about her work:

It is an immense pleasure to have our article featured on the ANS blog. The idea for this article was conceived from a course on critical perspectives in nursing and health care that I took under the guidance of Dr. Sheryl

Jane Werunga

Reimer-Kirkham in my quest to understand alternative methodologies for researching marginalized populations. Coming from a non-research background, I had very little knowledge on the multiple theories and methodologies that guide contemporary health research, but I understood that a fitting methodology would need to be sufficient enough to cover the complexity of the topic that I was proposing, which was research on African immigrant and refugee women and girls who have experienced female genital cutting (FGC).

Immigrants occupy unique cultural and spatial locations where they are constantly having to negotiate new ways of doing and being while adapting to new identities which for most, are marginalized and “marked” by historical, cultural, political, and migratory forces. The worldwide controversy surrounding the practice of FGC further compounds issues for affected women and girls living in Western locales particularly with regards to their health and wellbeing. I believe that nursing research on immigrants should reflect this conflation of experiences in order to fully lay bare the

Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham

Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham

socio-political and cultural structures that inform their health and health seeking behaviors. When I embarked on my doctoral research on FGC, I quickly realized that I could not locate this study within mainstream methodologies given the complexity of the issues therein. I needed a multifactorial approach that could fully capture the many forces at play. Critical decolonizing perspectives offer this alternative, and this article is an initial attempt to curve out an innovative methodology that combines several critical perspectives including African feminism, in an effort to reconceptualize FGC research in a new cultural dispensation. Critical perspectives disrupt commonplace pathologizing, criminalizing, and demonizing discourses, as reflected in the shift in language from “female genital mutilation” to “female genital cutting”.

This article reflects my doctoral work-in-progress; PhD supervisors and co-authors, Dr. Ewashen and Dr. Reimer-Kirkham, remain instrumental in the conceptualization of this methodology as I move into the fieldwork phase of my research. Dr. Ewashen’s knowledge on body politics, critical feminist, and poststructural research

(http://nursing.ucalgary.ca/nursing_info/profiles/carol-ewashen) and Dr. Reimer-Kirkham’s vast experience in

Carol Ewashen

Carol Ewashen

the areas of culture, equity, and health (http://twu.ca/directory/faculty/sheryl-reimer-kirkham.html) will no doubt be invaluable as I map out a rigorous and scientifically valid method that reflects the complexities of the experiences of affected women and girls. The endpoint of my research is the provision of socially just, relevant, timely, and equitable nursing and other health care services to marginalized populations.

We appreciate the opportunity to share our developing ideas in this area of nursing research.

 

 

Making time for dialogue


In contemporary academic cultures, time for dialogue has become almost extinct. Productivity has succumbed to the tendency to seek measurable outcomes of concrete products, which in turn neglects the vital conceptual, theoretic and philosophic underpinnings that make reliable and valid concrete outcomes possible.  When dialogue is neglected, scholars are deprived of the important processes of challenge and critique, processes that serve to refine and develop ideas in the context of community values.  The authors of the current Editor’s Pick article share their process of scholarly dialogue that  extends the debate on the topic of militarization of nursing. The article, titled “Making Time for Reflexive Dialogue in Philosophical Group Discussion: Extending the Debate on the Militarization of Nursing” is authored by  Rusla Anne Springer, PhD; Arlene Kent-Wilkinson, PhD; Carol Ewashen, PhD; and Ruth Ali, MN. In the article they call for more dialogue among nurse scholars as an avenue to examine nuances in language and discourse that sustain inequity, injustice, and cultural practices that

Rusla Anne Springer

Rusla Anne Springer

diminish human health and well-being.  The authors provide this background about their process:

The formation of the Inter-University Philosophical Discussion Group, from which this collaborative paper arose, stemmed from a shared desire on the part of Springer and Ewashen to re-ignite past associations and shared nursing philosophies and interests. The origins of the present collaboration date back to 2003, when Springer was a graduate student at the University of Calgary.  At that time Dr. Ewashen, along with other members of the nursing faculty, initiated a philosophical discussion group that offered graduate students the opportunity to engage with faculty in the safety of informal monthly gatherings

Arlene Kent-Wilkinson

Arlene Kent-Wilkinson

to explore and solidify the philosophical underpinnings of their graduate thesis and dissertation research. Those informal engagements with faculty proved invaluable for Springer and remain a highlight of her graduate experience. Based on a keen desire to re-ignite past associations, and recognizing the value of philosophical discussion, reflection and debate for graduate students and for faculty, in the fall of 2012 this new cross-university collaboration was born!  Of note is that all four authors are alumni (Springer & Kent-Wilkinson), faculty (Ewashen), or a present doctoral student (Ali) of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary.  For Ali, the opportunity to contribute to this collaborative article was “a great experience”, one in which she has “learned so

Carol Ewashen

Carol Ewashen

much”!  Enriching the graduate student experience by providing the opportunity to engage with faculty to confront, inquire, disrupt, challenge, debate and share perspectives in the safety of an open, inviting, respectful, and truly collegial space is the purpose of this newly formed cross-university collaboration.

This article is available for free download while it is featured on the ANS web site!  Perhaps the experience of these authors will inspire you to also make the time for dialogue of a kind that inspires, challenges and informs!

Ruth Ali

Ruth Ali

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