Moving beyond 'shopping list' positionality: Using kitchen table reflexivity and in/visible tools to develop reflexive qualitative research

Folkes, Louise ORCID: 0000-0002-7857-6953 (2023) Moving beyond 'shopping list' positionality: Using kitchen table reflexivity and in/visible tools to develop reflexive qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 23 (5). pp. 1301-1318. doi:10.1177/14687941221098922

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Within qualitative research, much can be learned from the influence of researcher positionality on the research process. Reflecting upon ethnographic fieldwork undertaken for a doctoral study, this paper explores how researcher positionality not only shapes research motivations but also situates the researcher and the ‘researched’, impacting how data is created and interpreted. There is a long history of engaging with positionality in qualitative research, however, oftentimes this engagement is purely descriptive, providing a ‘shopping list’ of characteristics and stating if these are shared or not with participants. It is important for engagement with reflexivity to go beyond providing a ‘shopping list’ of positionality statements to develop deeper discussions about the fluidity of positionality across the research process. Using the previously established concept of ‘kitchen table reflexivity’, I reflect on how talk allows researchers to outline shifts and adaptability in positionality as research progresses. I expand this concept to argue that kitchen table reflexivity can occur in conversations during fieldwork with participants, utilising a range of in/visible tools at the researcher’s disposal. For example, the spaces between fieldwork encounters, the ‘waiting field’, is often where observations and informal discussions with participants take place. Using fieldnotes and interview data, this paper outlines how positionality fluctuates and interweaves with the theoretical, methodological, and analytical approach taken. The paper concludes by restating the importance of meaningful engagement with positionality throughout qualitative research, in order to avoid static and hollow positionality statements.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Louise Folkes
Date Deposited: 16 May 2022 14:27
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2023 15:45

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