Understanding the Demographics of Food Insecurity: A Praxis-Oriented Reflexive Approach

charumita vasudev , lancaster university
ankita rathi, lancaster university
swayamshree mishra, IIT Kanpur
Jasmine Fledderjohann, Lancaster University

The politics of location is intrinsic to demographic knowledge creation. Demographers can, however, move beyond a (problematic) epistemic focus on ‘objectivity’ by integrating more reflexive, praxis-oriented methods. We use food insecurity in demography as a case study to suggest practically possible tweaks to data collection and analysis to generate data that is closer to lived realities. Drawing from our experiences as a multi-cultural team collecting, transcribing, and analysing sensitive data in two Indian states (UP and Goa), we outline what a praxis-oriented reflexive approach entails, e.g. shifting power to the participant, recognising positionality and iterative course corrections. We suggest how this approach can be implemented using examples (both successes and challenges) from our research. We argue that not only can demographers generate better quality qualitative data by incorporating some of these methods, but also improve the quality of survey data, which have been the core of demographic research.

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 Presented in Session 28. Flash session New and Critical Perspectives on Data Collection and Measurement