The wide range of social and cultural practices emerging in Intercultural garden projects stimulate significant interest of researchers situated in various academic disciplins. Different perspectives and research issues are connected in a research network, which exists since 2004. Its members meet once a year during the network conference in order to present and discuss papers from recent resarch projects. A few years after its implementation, the research network provides an important dimension of the 'intercultural garden movement' as it enables the 'translation' of practice into the academy and vice versa.
Goals of the Research Network
Connection of research and media and therefore distribution of research results beyond the boundaries of the academy
The informal network includes students as well as graduates and post-graduates, and also university professors (the latter sporadically). The disciplinary backgrounds are provided by the social sciences (sociology, social work and pedagogics), cultural studies, religious studies, botany, and forestry. During the network conferences a large number of migrants with and without academic background participate in order to reflect the practice and to contribute to the discussion.
The working paper series SI-Skripte (SI Scripts) presents results of research projects in a compact format. The papers are available only in German.
State of Affairs
The research network is a loose association of researchers from different disciplines and levels of seniority. The spectrum ranges from sociology, social work, political science, architecture, urbanism, agricultural science, landscape conservation, theology and philosophy. Similarly diverse are the interests and perspectives on intercultural gardens. The challenge in contributing to such a research network lies in the ability to translate one’s own project to those participants that come from another field so that it can become rewarding for all.
Most studies require the personal presence of the researchers in the intercultural garden. Qualitative methods prevail (sometimes in combination with other methods). Since many studies take place in a topography marked by social differences, they develop a vocabulary for this- influencing the research design and the personal presence of the researcher at the same time. Existing asymmetries are reflected accordingly. Research practice, choice of methods, forms of communication and the on site presence, as well as forms of presenting the conclusions, can not be considered to be beyond a complex power-knowledge-relationship. Therefore, reflecting on the methods used is a basic component of the network. The research that takes place in the IG, is important because of this existing power-knowledge-relationship. The “how“ is important.
For further information please contact:
Dr. Christa Müller