One of the issues addressed by this chapter is the role of the researcher in the research process. In relation to that, Irwin’s (2019) reflections on her journey as a qualitative researcher make for interesting reading. She discusses how she found a way of conducting grounded theory research that fitted with her feminist beliefs. Lying partly outside the approaches covered in Analysing Qualitative Data in Psychology (although they use discourse analysis), Riley and Scharff (2012) report on a ‘co-operative inquiry’ study with seven feminist-identified women that looked at the relationship between feminism and femininity. Research studies can straddle various epistemological positions: note how the writers present the complex epistemology of this study in the method section.
If you are interested in reflecting further on the political implications of how we represent the Other (and you should be), Wilkinson and Kitzinger’s (1996) edited volume Representing the Other provides useful insights and examples of how researchers working with different groups of participants have dealt with these issues. For an in-depth consideration of the conceptualization of the ‘insider-outsider’ debate, Alcoff’s (2006) book Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self is a useful resource. With the aim of enabling the holistic and useful representation of experiences, Lyons et al (2012) offer guidance and recommendations for doing ‘culturally competent’ research with people of African descent. Although the paper addresses the US setting, its recommendations are readily transferable to research contexts in which cultural competence (with ‘culture’ defined in a broad way) is a salient concern.
- Alcoff, L.M. (2006) Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Irwin, K. (2019) ‘Grounded theory methods in the context of masculinity and violence’, in A. Bryant and K. Charmaz (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Current Developments in Grounded Theory. London: SAGE. pp. 374–91.
- Lyons, H.Z., Bike, D.H., Johnson, A. and Bethea, A. (2012) ‘Culturally competent qualitative research with people of African descent’, Journal of Black Psychology, 38(2): 153–71.
- Riley, S.C.E and Scharff, C. (2012) ‘Feminism versus femininity? Exploring feminist dilemmas through cooperative inquiry research’, Feminism & Psychology, 23(2): 207–23.
- Wilkinson, S. and Kitzinger, C. (eds) (1996) Representing the Other. London: SAGE.