Providing an Authentic Voice? Understanding Migrant Homelessness through Critical Poetic Inquiry



Serpa RC (2022) Providing an Authentic Voice? Understanding Migrant Homelessness through Critical Poetic Inquiry. Social Sciences, 11 (1), Art. No.: 6.

Ethical considerations in social research tend to focus on data collection rather than data interpretation and representation. The tendency of qualitative research to limit ethical concern to confidentiality and anonymity in the representation of data, combined with the academic convention of maintaining an objective distance from the object of study, creates tensions for the reflexive researcher. On the one hand, they must meet academic expectations to communicate findings with demonstrable reliability and validity. At the same time, there are deontological obligations—to protect study participants (and groups they represent) from harm, to honour their contributions accurately and to report with integrity. This article argues for the use of poetic ‘re-presentation’, both as a form of inquiry and unique mode of data representation and as a means of obtaining a deeper understanding of the experience of migration and homelessness. By integrating insights from Critical Race Methodology, the article deploys the concept of ‘counter-storytelling’ through poetic inquiry. The article concludes that this approach enables a nuanced, insightful approach, allowing the authentic voice of migrant groups negotiating the complexities of homelessness to be clearly articulated and heard.

poetic inquiry; critical race methodology; homelessness; migration; power

Social Sciences: Volume 11, Issue 1

FundersESRC Economic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/01/2022
Publication date online22/12/2021
Date accepted by journal17/12/2021
PublisherMDPI AG

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Dr Regina Serpa

Dr Regina Serpa

Lecturer in Housing, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

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