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‘Come Back at Us’: Reflections on Researcher-Community Partnerships during a Post-Oil Spill Gulf Coast Resilience Study

Author

Listed:
  • Amy E. Lesen

    (ByWater Institute, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)

  • Chloe Tucker

    (Department of Sociology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)

  • M. G. Olson

    (Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)

  • Regardt J. Ferreira

    (School of Social Work, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
    Department of Social Work, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa)

Abstract

This paper presents findings from eight post-hoc interviews with individuals representing the key community partner organizations that facilitated and hosted data collection for an in-person mixed-methods survey about disaster resilience and preparedness in three communities on the Gulf Coast (U.S.) impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and numerous disasters from natural hazards. We submit our analysis of these follow-up interviews with community partners as a case study to provide a set of recommendations for future community-engaged research practices, particularly in the field of environmental and disaster resilience. Input from community partners stressed the importance of engaging with local community brokers to enhance trust in research; researcher-partner communication; and researcher interaction with community residents that respects local knowledge and culture. The partners indicated that even communities that have often been the subjects of post-disaster studies are receptive to research participation, especially when the effects of disasters are long-term and ongoing. Recommendations include using research methodologies that are congruent with post-disaster community characteristics such as educational attainment; collaborating with community partners to disseminate research findings; and incorporating theories and practices that center critical reflection and consider power dynamics when working with communities that have experienced disaster and trauma.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy E. Lesen & Chloe Tucker & M. G. Olson & Regardt J. Ferreira, 2019. "‘Come Back at Us’: Reflections on Researcher-Community Partnerships during a Post-Oil Spill Gulf Coast Resilience Study," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 8(1), pages 1-26, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:8:y:2019:i:1:p:8-:d:195482
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Megha M. Patel & Leia Y. Saltzman & Regardt J. Ferreira & Amy E. Lesen, 2018. "Resilience: Examining the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf Coast Vietnamese American Community," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 7(10), pages 1-13, October.
    2. Damon, Will & Callon, Cody & Wiebe, Lee & Small, Will & Kerr, Thomas & McNeil, Ryan, 2017. "Community-based participatory research in a heavily researched inner city neighbourhood: Perspectives of people who use drugs on their experiences as peer researchers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 85-92.
    3. Karim, Azreen, 2018. "The Household Response to Persistent Natural Disasters: Evidence from Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 40-59.
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