How should I think about the political economy of research?

I guess about now I should be more mindful of what I write about other people’s work. I hope that soon I will begin to develop the capacity to contribute to academic discussions, and for my discussion of the work of others to not just be testing to see if I read it right.


It has been suggested to me that I should not provide a critical reading of somebody’s work unless I provide a critical reading of their life. I know that not only do certain things get funded in research and certain things do not, but jobs appear for certain people and vanish mid-appointment for others. Some people have more financial obligations than others.


It is not like applied disciplines are the only ones where funding is subject to fitting with what is seen as ‘the’ issues of the time, and I am all for making the most of current conversations. However, I feel a little disgusted that people would produce research to support certain policies when lived experience clearly demonstrates that those certain policies are not always great for people.


The lives of people are complicated, so the findings from research will often be messy. I know sometimes we need to find a direction to head in, and it seems silly to ignore the ‘evidence’ offered around us when it comes to making decisions. But surely the research itself needs to be presented without the simplification/ spin?


I am probably over simplifying things &/or being insultin. After all, what does ‘lived experience’ clearly demonstrate anyway?


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