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Hi everyone, I’m new to this forum and I have a bit of a weird request and I thought it would be better to create a public thread instead of messaging people in private. My name is Maia and I’m an undergraduate student of cultural anthropology in the Netherlands and am currently conducting an ethnographic study into hegemonic truth regimes (so basically how power hierarchies or relations can lead to the establishment of an exclusive framework of determining what is ‘truth’ and what isn’t, which often is inherently based on what will help those in power remain in power) and how people deal with the feelings of disillusionment that may arise out of recognising these. I know I probably have slightly different opinions than a lot of people on this forum, and the reason I landed here is because the threads here feature such a variety of different perspectives that the debates are extremely productive and lively without being as polarised as they would be on e.g. Facebook or Twitter (that’s at least what I would expect). This forum is a really good example for different ‘communities of inquiry’ outside of the dominant system. This is a study that I am conducting for my Bachelor at University, but it’s also a deeply personal inquiry. I understand reservations that you may have with the University setting (I also have some) but am hoping that some of you would want to share your insights with me anyways. Maybe an important point to add is that I’m not trying to uncover any ‘hidden secrets’ or stuff like that whatsoever. My ethnographic methodology is about observing everyday-interactions, and about having productive exchanges with people who are able contribute important insights. So, generally, I’m not trying to trick you into telling or showing me something you wouldn’t tell or show me by yourself. Furthermore, I definitely do not claim any expert status or higher ground, which is why I’m trying to rid myself of pre-existing notions of truth that may make me preoccupied in this study (which is hard and maybe impossible to do fully, but should at least make me slightly more receptive for different world-views). I know that some people see studying something in the academic setting as the ‘only’ way of acquiring knowledge and I disagree. Academia is deeply biased and science is always also a product of wider circumstances and relations. I think it is important that alternative ways of acquiring knowledge become normalised and taken seriously, also so that there’s a space for dialogue between people of different opinions and perspectives (much like this forum already does on a smaller scale). Lastly, everything I have said in the above are things I cannot take back. I am ethically required to stick to reassurances I make, but I am open to discussing this and changing it on your own terms. I will also keep every informant I am in contact with completely anonymous, and I would also prefer not to know your citizen name or the place you live in or any other personal details that could disclose your identity. So I was wondering whether there are any people here that would want to talk to me about their beliefs and their notions of truth? I’m specifically interested in your quest for the truth – how you determine which sources are relevant and legitimate and which one’s aren’t and how you discuss these things on the forum but maybe also irl. And maybe about how thinking about these things has changed your lives (for the better or worse?). Ultimately, it’s all up to you. If topics are off-limit that’s fine and if there are things you would like to tell me that’s also great. I can adapt to whatever you find most comfortable: We can continue talking publicly via this thread (so also with other people involved), but we can also communicate via PMs or somewhere else. Ideally I would also like to do some interviews, but we would obviously have to find a way that doesn’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. I think talking to people who are more used to the kind of conversations that happen on this forum would be really helpful for me, as I have read through some threads and sometimes find it hard to completely understand arguments (probably because there’s a lot of information that I missed out on). So also if you’re not interested in talking to me but have some recommendations for books/articles/documentaries/podcasts that would be really helpful, too! I also have an ICKONIC subscription. Thank you for reading , if you did, and if this is an invasion of the privacy of anyone on here I’m deeply sorry.