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Mobilising spatial risks : reflections on researching Venezuelan and Australian fairground people's educational experiences
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by E Anteliz, Geoffrey DanaherGeoffrey Danaher, Patrick DanaherPatrick Danaher
One approach to conducting educational research is to strive for 'risk minimisation'. This is presumably on the assumption that risk is always and inevitably dangerous and harmful (see also McDougall, Jarzabkowski, Mills & Gale, Moore, Danaher and Walker-Gibbs, this volume), and to be avoided at all costs. Following the theme of celebrating 'strategic uncertainties' (Stronach & MacLure, 1997), we prefer a different approach, one grounded in the recognition of risk as the prerequisite of new conceptual, methodological and empirical understandings. Rather than being minimised or avoided, risk should be mobilised and enthusiastically pursued - carpe diem transposed to an educational research framework. Our conviction of the utility, even the necessity, of mobilising risk derives in part from our ongoing research into the educational experiences of Venezuelan and Australian fairground people (Anteliz & Danaher, 2000; Anteliz, Danaher & Danaher, 2001). In multiple ways, the fairground people routinely enter the spaces of permanently resident communities, and in so doing they challenge the stereotypes attached to mobile groups (McVeigh, 1997). From this perspective, their physical mobility becomes allied with their mobilisation of spatial risks in order to earn their living and to sustain their cultural heritage.