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Reflections on researcher positionality when using multiple techniques of qualitative data collection to facilitate participation in research focusing on a sensitive subject

Heath, Jennifer

Authors

Jennifer Heath Jennifer3.Heath@uwe.ac.uk



Contributors

Bryan C Clift
Editor

Jenny Hatchard
Editor

Julie Gore
Editor

Abstract

Within qualitative research, it is increasingly common for a variety of interview methods to be employed within a project in order to seek engagement from participants. But how do these methods affect the participants, the research process, the data, and the researcher themselves? A reflective diary was kept throughout a study collecting qualitative data using multiple interview techniques. This paper presents the methodological reflections made during the research process.

Participants self-selected their participation method from the options face-to-face, Skype, telephone or email. Their choices were determined by personal convenience, their belief in their ability to be open with the researcher despite potential upset caused by the topic, their ability to get a ‘feel’ for the researcher, and concern about giving adequate response depth.

It was concluded that flexibility regarding the ways in which participants can take part in qualitative research may improve participant access to research and response-rate. However, this process also highlighted three important points: 1) the need to consider the role of researcher, 2) how the data collection method itself might influence researcher positionality, and 3) the importance of recognising potential risks to both participants and researchers.

Publication Date Jul 26, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 71-82
Book Title How Do We Belong? Researcher Positionality Within Qualitative Inquiry
ISBN 0861971973
APA6 Citation Heath, J. (2018). Reflections on researcher positionality when using multiple techniques of qualitative data collection to facilitate participation in research focusing on a sensitive subject. In B. C. Clift, J. Hatchard, & J. Gore (Eds.), How Do We Belong? Researcher Positionality Within Qualitative Inquiry, 71-82. University of Bath
Keywords reflections, methodology, positionality, sensitive research, data collection, peer support, visible difference
Publisher URL https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/publications/how-do-we-belong-researcher-positionality-within-qualitative-inqu




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