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Studying the other or becoming the other: Engaging with indigenous peoples in is research

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  • Michael D. Myers
  • Hameed Chughtai
  • Elizabeth Davidson
  • Pitso Tsibolane
  • Amber G. Young
Article number18
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/11/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Communications of the Association for Information Systems
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)382-396
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this paper, we report on a panel discussion at the 2019 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) held in Munich, Germany. This panel discussed the ethics and politics of engagement with Indigenous peoples in information systems (IS) research. As members of a research team that have studied how Indigenous peoples use social media to collaborate and further their cause, we have recently learnt about some unintended consequences that IS research has. Since others could easily appropriate our findings for political purposes, we believe that we as IS researchers need to become more sensitive to the ways in which we study and engage with “the Other”. Hence, the panelists discussed and debated the nature and extent of a researcher’s engagement when studying Indigenous peoples and how they use information systems/information technology. The panel, which Michael Myers chaired, included three panelists who have studied how Indigenous people use media (Liz Davidson, Amber Young, and Hameed Chughtai) and one panelist who has studied Indigenous theories in IS (Pitso Tsibolane).