Friendship as research: Exploring the potential of sisterhood and personal relationships as the foundations of musicological and ethnographic fieldwork
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the individual music research projects the authors were working on in Borroloola, Northern Territory of Australia, and the ways in which the lived and inter-subjective concepts of sisterhood and friendship strengthened the authors' shared experiences in the field and became the foundations of their method. Design/methodology/approach - Through an auto-ethnographic and inter-subjective narrative approach, the authors consider how the intertwined notions of relationship as research and "friendship as method", underpinned what was being researched, how the research was enacted, and finally how the authors came to further appreciate and understand the role that music-making plays in facilitating this process. Findings - The authors' independent and shared experiences during this research were stark reminders that it is indeed the quality of field relationships and friendships, rather than clever theoretical ideas or fancy methodological frameworks, which ultimately determine the quality and depth of their musicological and ethnographic research. Originality/value - This paper presents original, feminist-based research which places concepts of sisterhood, friendship and relationships at the centre of music research practice in Australia. More specifically, this research highlights the complexities of such research practice across the boundaries of race, with and in collaboration with, Indigenous Australian women.
Qualitative Research Journal
Musicology and Ethnomusicology