Research Update: Introduction

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Okay, long story short: I haven’t been updating my research process for almost a year now. Thanks to my office room-mate Britt Broekhaus today, we had a short chit chat on what our research is about. It is a challenge for both of us to say what our research is about in two words or one sentence. So, our chit chat helped me a lot to think about how to introduce my research in two words or one sentence.

How am I going to describe my research in two words or one sentence? At this point, I would say community rangers (that’s two words). In one sentence, it would be the relation between community rangers and farmers within and adjacent to Gunung Leuser National Park, Aceh, Indonesia (like what you’ve read in my about page). I constantly ask to myself, why? Why do I want to research this? I am not quite done with this question but it is okay.

What concerns me now is my imagination that my research is actually not possible. Why? Because I imagine there is a clash between the rangers and the farmers in the buffer zone, because I imagine the rangers is doing a type of fortress conservation in some sort. But it is also possible that, because they are community rangers, they have a very close relationship in everyday life with the farmers, instead of being in some sort of a clash.

Another thing that I am concerned about is whether or not conservation has a real presence in the daily life of the community (farmers in the buffer zone). I can choose a very isolated area and not getting any conservation presence but it would be the area most likely located within the national park. I can also choose location with strong presence of conservation practices, but again, how to see and what is actually conservation presence? What if it is just an ad-hoc, one-off, temporary thing? It is an important conservation area in Indonesia, arguably one of the most important not only in Indonesia but also worldwide, but I imagine that that doesn’t mean people’s daily life are really heavily affected by conservation the way social scientist tend to describe.

I hope I can start writing this type of logbook under the “research update” menu. It is good to keep track of my thoughts, research process, inspiration, and worries. And it would be fun to look back later on.

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