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Toward multi-dimensional and developmental notion of researcher positionality

Toward multi-dimensional and developmental notion of researcher positionality The purpose of this paper is to argue for a multi-dimensional and developmental notion of researcher positionality in conducting qualitative research, in lieu of the dichotomous notion of outsider and insider. The former emphasizes the agentive role researchers play in knowledge production, whereas the latter has been much challenged as oversimplified and insufficient in understanding the dynamic interactions in which field researchers engage.Design/methodology/approachThe paper borrows Milner’s (2007) four-level framework of research personality to reflect on one cross-cultural narrative inquiry study.FindingsReflective stories revealed that researcher positionality captures threads of intersectionality as well as inter- and intra-personal dynamics, and thus better informs the research process than what concept of insider/outsider dichotomy can do.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper enriches the discussion of research positionality in qualitative research by involving a cross-cultural study where the researcher moved to-and-fro two sites.Practical implicationsThe paper suggests a methodological and practical way of raising researcher’s awareness and agency relative to positionality by exposing the researcher to cross-cultural settings.Originality/valueWhile the multi-dimensional aspect of researcher positionality and its relatedness to research findings has been much discussed, not much acknowledgment has been given to the developmental aspect of research positionality. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research Journal Emerald Publishing

Toward multi-dimensional and developmental notion of researcher positionality

Qualitative Research Journal , Volume 19 (3): 11 – Jun 4, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1443-9883
DOI
10.1108/qrj-d-18-00029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to argue for a multi-dimensional and developmental notion of researcher positionality in conducting qualitative research, in lieu of the dichotomous notion of outsider and insider. The former emphasizes the agentive role researchers play in knowledge production, whereas the latter has been much challenged as oversimplified and insufficient in understanding the dynamic interactions in which field researchers engage.Design/methodology/approachThe paper borrows Milner’s (2007) four-level framework of research personality to reflect on one cross-cultural narrative inquiry study.FindingsReflective stories revealed that researcher positionality captures threads of intersectionality as well as inter- and intra-personal dynamics, and thus better informs the research process than what concept of insider/outsider dichotomy can do.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper enriches the discussion of research positionality in qualitative research by involving a cross-cultural study where the researcher moved to-and-fro two sites.Practical implicationsThe paper suggests a methodological and practical way of raising researcher’s awareness and agency relative to positionality by exposing the researcher to cross-cultural settings.Originality/valueWhile the multi-dimensional aspect of researcher positionality and its relatedness to research findings has been much discussed, not much acknowledgment has been given to the developmental aspect of research positionality.

Journal

Qualitative Research JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 4, 2019

Keywords: Cross-cultural; Qualitative research; Gender; Narrative inquiry; Insider and outsider; Researcher positionality

References