FSN 707 Chapter 2: FSN707 - WEEK 2 - Readings - Berger
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Now I see it, now I don't: researcher's position and reflexivity in qualitative research
Reflexivity has been increasingly recognized as a crucial strategy in the process
of generating knowledge by means of qualitative research.
Reflexivity is commonly viewed as the process of a continual internal dialogue
and critical self-evaluation of researcher's positionally as well as active
acknowledgement and explicit recognition that this position may affect the
research process and outcome.
The idea of reflexivity challenges the view of knowledge production as
independent of the researcher producing it and of knowledge as objective.
Relevant researcher's positioning include personal characteristics, such as
gender, race, affiliation, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, personal
experiences, linguistic tradition, beliefs, biases, preferences, theoretical,
political and ideological stances, and emotional responses to participant.
The research may be impacted by the researcher's position in three major ways:
Affect the access to the 'field' because respondents may be more willing
to share their experiences with a researcher may be more knowledgeable
about potentially helpful and informative resources.
They may shape the nature of the researcher - researched relationship
affects the information that participants are willing to share
The worldview and background of the researcher affects the way in which
he or she constructs the world, uses languages, poses questions, and
chooses the lens for filtering the information gathered from participants
and making meaning of it.
One goal of reflexivity in qualitative research is to monitor such effects and thus
enhance the accuracy of the research and the credibility of the findings by
account for researcher values, beliefs, knowledge, and biases.
Reflexivity is a researcher's conscious and deliberate effort to be attuned to
one's own reactions to respondents.
Due to the way the research is conducted, it helps identify and explicate
potential or actual effect of personal, contextual, and circumstantial aspects on
the process and findings of the study and maintain their awareness of
themselves as part of the world they study.
The absence of reflexivity may lead to acceptance of the apparent linearity,
thereby obscuring all sorts of unexpected possibilities.
Reflexivity helps maintain the ethics of the relationship between researcher and
research by decolonizing the discourse of the 'other' and securing that while
interpterion of findings is always done through the eyes and cultural standards
of the researcher.
Reflexivity is crucial throughout all phases of the research process (including the
formulation of a research question, collection and analysis of data, and drawing
Strategies for maintaining reflexivity include repeated interviews with the same
participants, prolonged engagement, members checking, triangulation, peer
review, forming of a peer support network and back talk groups, keeping a diary
or research journal for 'self-supervision', and creating an 'audit trail' of
researcher's reasoning, judgement, and emotional reactions.
Researcher's position in relation to the population group and other issues under
study may impact the research process and its analytic stance.
The degree of researcher’s personal familiarity with the experience of
participants potentially impacts all phases of the research process, including
recruitment of participants, collecting data via interviews and/or observations,
analyzing and making meaning of the data, and drawing conclusions.
Three practical measures for maintaining the necessary balance between
researcher’s own experience and that of the participants include the use of a
log, repeated review, and seeking peer consultation.
Researchers must continually ask themselves where they are at any given
moment in relation to what they study and what are the potential ramifications
of this position on their research.
WEEK 2 -Readings -Berger
Sunday, September 9, 2018
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