Refusal – opening otherwise forms of research


  • Lena Gross Sámi dutkamiid guovddáš / Centre for Sámi Studies, Norgga árktalaš universitehta /The Arctic University of Norway
  • Sepandarmaz Mashreghi Malmö University
  • Emma Söderman Department of Social Work, Linnaeus University


An increasing interest towards researching other forms of knowledges is taking place, expanding the boundaries of knowledge to include forms that have been historically marginalised, negated, and neglected by the Western academy. Parallel to this, we have identified a rising critique of how voices marginalized by colonial modes of academic knowledge production are included, through a single-sided focus on pain and suffering (Tuck & Yang 2014). Yet there are less discussions around the process of research itself and what it entails. Against this backdrop, this paper aims to challenge the concept of ‘discovery’ and the unproblematic and inherent right of knowing granted to the Western academy, to argue for a kind of research that refuses. Interrogating instances of refusal in different contexts of Indigenous sovereignty and migration studies, this collective work creates a dialogue across different disciplines and reveals that refusal turns the gaze at colonial modalities of knowing. The empirical analysis of our work also demonstrates that refusal is a generative process that redirects the attention to ideas otherwise unacknowledged, thus making space for relationality, reciprocity, solidarity, community, and care.

How to Cite

Gross, L., Mashreghi, S., & Söderman, E. (2023). Refusal – opening otherwise forms of research. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 201(2), 154–168.