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Recent studies on language and migration have attempted to address the social injustices stemming from global disparities in wealth and opportunities. However, there’s a risk of researchers unintentionally reinforcing traditional power dynamics, positioning themselves in power while reducing participants to mere data sources. Focusing on migrants in precarious living conditions, whose migration is often a consequence of political and economic upheaval in the origin, this paper interrogates the role of researchers and the researched with respect to social justice perspectives. We argue that conducting research on, for, and with such vulnerable migrant populations requires a reflexive understanding of our own positions and decisions throughout our engagement with participants. We propose that this approach is most effectively executed if we treat participants as equal partners in knowledge generation and social action, guided by principles of care, empathy, and unconventional methodologies. Through this, we hope to advocate for migration linguistics that is truly fair, just, and empowering among migrants.


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