Doing a transversal method: developing an ethics of care in a collaborative research project

Scheel, Stephan; Grommé, Francisca; Ruppert, Evelyn; Ustek-Spilda, Funda; Cakici, Baki and Takala, Ville. 2020. Doing a transversal method: developing an ethics of care in a collaborative research project. Global Networks, 20(3), pp. 522-543. ISSN 1470-2266 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Beck and Sznaider call for ‘methodological cosmopolitanism’ to transcend methodological nationalism and account for an increasingly cosmopolitanized reality. We take up their challenge by drawing on our experiences doing a collaborative ethnography of methodological changes in the production of population statistics within and between European national and international statistical institutes. Drawing on debates in Science and Technology Studies, we depart from some conceptual presuppositions of methodological cosmopolitanism to define a ‘transversal method’. Referring to this method as performative and ontopolitical, we reflect on how it requires collaboration and in our ethnography gave rise to three practical challenges: 1) going beyond the individual project; 2) using each other’s field notes; 3) working against the national order of things. To meet these challenges we reflect on how this method required that we practice three modes of care: thinking with others, tinkering with field notes, and dissenting within.

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The research leading to this publication has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement no. 615588 (Principal Investigator, Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths, University of London).


collaboration, transversal method, ethnography, cosmopolitanism, ethics of care, performativity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) [2016-]


5 April 2019Accepted
4 September 2019Published Online
July 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

08 May 2019 08:45

Last Modified:

04 Sep 2021 01:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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