ACSPRI Conferences, ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference 2010

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Cross-cultural research in Aceh and Canberra: Comparing apples and pears?

Theresia Citraningtyas, Katherine Lepani, Beverley Raphael

Building: Holme Building
Room: MacCallum Room
Date: 2010-12-03 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Last modified: 2010-11-17


This presentation will discuss the challenges and possibilities in cross-cultural research, based on the experience of conducting qualitative research in two contexts: the 2003 Canberra Bushfire and the 2004 tsunami in Aceh. Cross-cultural research usually calls forth looking at differences and similarities between cultures. This has its
own challenges. Cultures need to be understood within its own context, a researcher's discipline and perspective is culturally-bound, and matching comparisons are not always possible or appropriate. At the same time, cross-cultural research has the potential of providing a richer understanding of context, going beyond the cultural boundaries of the researcher's discipline and perspective, and providing insight
into an essentially human experience. We discuss how this research in Aceh and Canberra uses cross-cultural research not to compare cultures per se, but to draw together findings from very different contexts to build a richer picture of different ways people deal with the multi-faceted experience of disaster.