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International Journal of Primatology

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DOI: 10.1007/s10764-022-00311-0


Primate research and conservation may inadvertently reproduce neocolonial dynamics when primatologists from affluent, imperialist nations conduct studies in primate habitat countries. Here, we consider how interrogating the positionality of both foreign researchers and range-country collaborators can strengthen primatology. Such consideration may help us to better understand where each member of the collaboration is coming from, both figuratively and literally, and how those situated perceptions shape the research process. Centering the perspectives of the range-country collaborators, whose perspectives are infrequently voiced within the primatology literature, may illuminate challenges in cross-cultural communication and imbalances of knowledge and power. Here, we explore how positionality shapes collaborative research through the narratives of two foreign/range-country collaborator teams doing primate research and conservation in Africa and South America. Our goal is to provide examples that consider the positionalities of range-country collaborators relative to both foreign researchers and local community members, and that serve as models for primate researchers as they consider their own research teams’ positionalities. These narratives highlight how prioritizing the perspectives of range-country and local collaborators when they differ from those of foreign collaborators can strengthen future research and conservation efforts.


Accepted version. International Journal of Primatology, Vol. 43 (2022): 1133-1158. DOI. © 2022 Springer. Used with permission.

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