This chapter tracks different ways of framing the use of subjectivity in psycho-social research, by offering different, yet convergent, ways of understanding its ontological basis. For this purpose, it tracks dualities in the work of Bergson and Bion to begin with. These dualities have to do with both the nature of reality and of processes by which it may manifest itself. This in turn justifies particular ways to learn and research. Some of this territory was covered in more detail in Volume One of Researching beneath the Surface (2009).This chapter takes that work further into a relational understanding of the use of (inter)subjectivity in research. To this effect it then moves from dualities to the idea of “thirdness” via brief characterisations of models of transference and counter-transference and their transformation over time. It ends the theoretical journey in the work of Jessica Benjamin (2004), concerned with both process dualities as well as thirdness as elements of intersubjectivity. The focus of the chapter is not so much to compare and contrast the different frameworks from philosophy and psychoanalysis, rather to quote Michael Eigen (1999:24):“My interest is not in “reconciling” (reducing?) so much as seeing ways they help set each other in motion” and in doing so, provoke the reader into a letting go into that motion that might, by the end, have produced a sense of how relationality and intersubjectivity can inform and expand our framing and understanding of psycho-social research. While much of the content may be perceived as a bit abstract, the final section is aimed at translating and fleshing out its relevance in terms of research encounters and psycho-social dilemmas.
Crociani-Windland, L. (2018). The researcher’s subjectivity as a research instrument - from intuition to surrender. In A. Cummins, & N. Williams (Eds.), Further Researching Beneath the Surface: Psycho-Social Research Methods in Practice. London: Routledge