The relation between researcher(s) and researched has been a recurrent The inherent power imbalance between the parties and the ethical . in the dynamics of the relations between interviewer and interviewee, and. hierarchical relations of power between researchers and participants: “In .. seems to be absolute (i.e., “the interviewers monopoly of the interpretation”. In an ideal situation, the relationship between the interviewer and the adequate seating so the interviewer, assistant and interviewee were all.
Other studies have also noted that participants and professionals believe that their interests and professional identities are threatened during research see e. The perceptions of the researcher and the researched of the research agenda might thus not always be in harmony.
Group interviews may also be challenging for the researcher because of the inherent strengths of a group of individuals, who can directly oppose the researcher's agenda.
Neither the researcher in the sick-leave decision-making study empirical example 3 nor the researcher in the genetic counselling study empirical example 4 attempted to force the discussions in a preferred direction. Rather, the researchers repeatedly asked for concrete examples in order to gain knowledge beyond the formal, and made continuous attempts to hear participants dwell on the experienced intricacies of actual decision-making processes.
We have indicated that the participants in both of the focus group discussion studies might have felt that their professional identities were being scrutinized. One cannot be entirely sure that the researchers and the participants were in full agreement about what the research agenda actually implied, although the aims of the research were shared before the discussions. Negotiations and resistance regarding the discussion of problematic clinical cases are, in the research literature, associated with a challenge of revelation.
In the focus group studies considered here, the symmetry as well as the asymmetry in the researched—researcher relationship represented a dimension of power that the researchers experienced as challenging and as somewhat unpredictable during the course of the research encounters.
Being at the mercy of the study participants The next case reveals examples of researcher vulnerability experienced within a classical ethnographic study empirical example 5. A classical metaphor for the ethnographic fieldworker is the child who is to be socialized into a particular culture or subculture.
The agenda will be more or less transparent to the study participants, depending on how well a particular research topic can be made sensible in the research setting. An ethnographer's taking on the role of a child has its advantages, especially in the early phases of fieldwork. The attempts at gaining mutual trust and reaching a sense of or some degree of closeness to the informants lies at the heart of the ethnographic approach, and depends on considerable time being spent in the field.
One area that was perceived as a challenge was that of controlled exclusion: Dependent as the ethnographer is on guidance and possible translationthe potential for control of information passed on to the researcher is more or less limitless, potentially jeopardizing the researcher's project. Despite the fact that the researcher in this project was invited to attend a vast number of relevant events and situations that could provide knowledge about pregnancy and birth-related perceptions and practices, she had, for months, an accompanying feeling of being guided away from core information, and even of being cheated.
Even in such a highly circumscribed culture … referring to his field sitepeople could experiment with styles of interaction and involve the visitor researcher in subtle, yet very revealingly subversive power games, games that inevitably shaped both what the ethnographer observed and how he interpreted what he saw. On the basis of subtle or overt shifts in power relations between the parties, the awareness of the co-construction of knowledge can become more or less acute. Goodwin, Pope, Mort, and Smith write: The community being researched is not a passive component; it also has a bearing on what the researcher is included in and excluded from.
The informants were also agents in the shaping of the data, the data-collecting opportunities, and the course of the fieldwork. The closeness will often, with time, generate an openness and permissiveness, which may imply seemingly endless learning opportunities. However, the dependence on the close relationships with the informants simultaneously sheds light on the precariousness and vulnerability not only of the informants, who may have difficulties controlling the information ultimately generated from the research, but the vulnerability of ethnography as a research approach, as well as the vulnerability of the ethnographer in the process of learning.
In the current study, the researcher gradually gained access to more domains, and later fieldwork revealed the immense impact of her own position for the knowledge gained. She was provided with extensive access to the women's ritual reproductive sphere after being married, giving birth, breastfeeding etc.
The gaining of closeness to the field is thus part of a process of becoming more knowledgeable about culture and context, the handling of language and codes, and of the continuous building of what is often experienced as true friendship. This point pertains to all qualitative research endeavours, but is particularly pertinent in ethnography with its common demands for long-term interaction.
In the study, we considered the experience of being gradually more at ease with the continued outsider role, the learning process made the researcher more of an insider.
In a similar vein, we have indicated that the role of researchers as interviewers in the in-depth interview studies and in the focus group discussion studies were not fixed during the course of the interviews. Shifts took place both in relation to definition of the relevant body of knowledge, and the particular position of the researcher in knowledge production.
The vulnerability in designs with especially demanding inherent dual roles In the final example, we shed light on how researcher vulnerability seemed to be part and parcel of the dual role of the researcher. In the pedagogical study empirical example 6the researcher simultaneously pursued the researcher role and the actor role, portraying a patient during communication training.
Two focus group interviews with medical students were conducted after the communication training. The character of the SP was a young woman. She was shy, almost nonverbal, someone who gets very easily hurt and starts crying when challenged on personal matters.
To portray this patient was demanding, and the actress had to use most of her proficiency and skills as an actor to create a credible character. This created an ambivalent situation; she felt emotionally drained after the performance, and found it difficult to shift from the role of the actress to the role of the researcher who moderated the group interviews.
Role confusion of both parties could contribute to an unsharpened reflection. As Malacrida statespp. It puts the researcher at risk of becoming emotionally drained Dunn, ; Lalor et al. To take on the dual role as researcher and SP in the development of this particular pedagogical practice exacerbated the emotional challenge, and made it difficult to find a balance between insider—outsider positions Burns et al. Parallels to the vulnerability inherent in the participant observer role in the ethnographic study are present, particularly the feelings of being at the mercy of the participants.
The manner in which the researchers opened themselves to exposure placed them in a vulnerable position. In an ethnographic context, the researcher will commonly have a long-lasting relationship with the study participants, which implies opportunities to re-evaluate the course of events and modify ways of approaching demanding topics and situations.
This was not the case in the pedagogical project which enhanced the sense of overall vulnerability. Concluding remarks In this article, we have made an attempt to shed light on the researcher—researched relationship in different qualitatively anchored studies carried out within health science.
Flyvbjerg, cited in Karnieli-Miller et al. In this article, we have anchored our analysis of shifts and ambivalence in the researcher—researched relationship by drawing upon concrete examples from our own research.
The four main qualitative approaches represented; the phenomenological in-depth interview studies, the focus group discussion studies, the ethnographic study, and the pedagogical study, held a common aim of diminishing the distance between the researcher and the researched, and creating an anti-authoritative researcher—researched relationship.
The scenarios that emerged challenged the researchers partly to re-think the research agenda, but it also rendered them vulnerable to substantial emotional stress.
The dual role as insider and outsider, participant and researcher, added to the challenge. The empirical examples in this article indicate that these are points of relevance for qualitative research projects, across designs and traditions. In order to handle shifts in positions between research parties, shifts which are intertwined with ethical dilemmas, the practice of continuous reflexive awareness is paramount. The same holds true for the context of knowledge production; scrutinizing critically what can be at stake in the encounters between researcher and researched, and one's own role in knowledge production.
We argue that sharing and discussing these concerns in research teams and groups, where senior researchers as well as novices meet, should be regular practice. The value of reflexive self-awareness among researchers has been contested.
However, along with Finleyp. Although fraught with ambiguity, a lack of critical awareness about the impact of the research context, perspectives chosen, methodological choices made, and, in this context, the presence of the researcher, might seriously hamper the knowledge claims made.
Finally, we support Malacridap. The first and the last author planned the group discussions together and were discussion partners between the group discussions. All participants were engaged in the group discussions, contributed to developing the core topics, and took part in writing the manuscript.
The last author was more involved in writing the article than the authors in the middle.08 common Interview question and answers - Job Interview Skills
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Interview Locations and Power Relations | Pop and Geog in Accra
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Sociological orientations to representational practice in science. Reflexive journaling on emotional research topics: Ethical issues for team researchers. Two main issues need to be considered when selecting an interview location Elwood and Martin, The practicalities need to be assessed such as accessibility to the location, a location that is appropriate for conversation, quiet, in a cool area, private and away from other people and distractions.
Secondly, concerns regarding power relations between the participant and interviewer should be considered. Feminist geographers have conceptualised power and place in the research process and highlight the power hierarchies which are present between the researcher and the participant Bryman, and Elwood and Martin, These may include differences in gender, race, class, ethnicity and other dimensions of social differentiation, in addition to the inequalities between the developed and developing worlds Elwood and Martin, The interview location chosen can emphasise these differences, therefore creating an unbalanced power relation and impacting the data collected.
In an ideal situation, the relationship between the interviewer and the participant would be non-hierarchical Bryman, The location of the interview reflects the relationship of the interviewer and participant, the relationship of the participant with the site and the broader sociocultural context of the location that affects the researcher, participant and results collected Elwood and Martin, These three relationships need to be considered when selecting an ideal interview location.
For example, Berik conducted research investigating the gender system in rural areas of Turkey: Whilst interviewing men, the location had to be appropriate for a man and woman to be alone together there Berik, The power imbalance of gender relations seen here affected the relationship between the researcher and participant and the participant and location as Elwood and Martin acknowledge. In reality, research sites may be chosen by the researcher, participant or other actors who affect the research such as a gatekeeper to the community.
Participants who have chosen the research site may feel more empowered and liberated so may give fuller answers during the questioning. When conducting our interviews in Totope, the location was selected by the participant.