The qualitative researcher: the flip side of the research encounter with vulnerable people

BASHIR, Nadia (2019). The qualitative researcher: the flip side of the research encounter with vulnerable people. Qualitative Research.

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Using data from an empirical study involving in-depth interviews with five qualitative researchers, a conceptual lens based on power dynamics and imbalances is applied to explore the researcher: participant encounter, within particular settings and conditions. The research relationship rests on the assumption that the researcher occupies a more powerful position than the participant and the knowledgeable and powerful researcher questions the participant whose position is automatically assumed to shift to that of vulnerable participant. However, this paper seeks to show the flip side, whereby research encounters unfold in such a way that the researcher becomes the ‘vulnerable’. Although acknowledging the privilege and power of the researcher’s position, this article reveals that power is multifaceted and manifests itself in complex ways: as a researcher, fear of being on unfamiliar territory; researcher anxiety about the unpredictability of participants; and researcher feelings of powerlessness to help; and so on – all impacts which are underexplored.

Item Type: Article
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Depositing User: Justine Gavin
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:33

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