Volume 10 Issue 2 (2014): Giving Back in Field Research

Giving Back, Moving Forward

Louise Fortmann
University of California, Berkeley
Published July 1, 2014
  • feminism,
  • democratization of science,
  • participatory research


While reflecting on her own experience with giving back in Zimbabwe, Fortmann considers how the idea of “giving back” sits at the intersection of feminist theory, participatory research, and the democratization of science. From feminist theory arises the question of how to reciprocate to those who have contributed to our research. The participatory research and democratization of science literature push us to recognize and consider the collaborative nature of our research. Fortmann concludes by identifying three categories of reciprocity in research: material, intellectual, and personal. Sharing must occur, regardless of the kind of research taking place.