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Researching others: epistemology, experience, standpoints and participation

Fawcett, Barbara and Hearn, Jeff (2004) Researching others: epistemology, experience, standpoints and participation. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 7 (3). pp. 201-218. ISSN 1364-5579

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This article examines the possibility and challenges of carrying out research, especially
qualitative and ethnographically-orientated research, into areas such as gender, disability,
ethnicity and racialization, without the researcher having direct experience of those specific
social divisions and oppressions. Discussion of these questions is framed by four differential
understandings of the concept of ‘otherness’ and linked with debates in the areas of research
methodology, epistemology, ontology and research practices. Issues of experience,
‘standpoint’ and participation are specifically focused on. The resulting discussion leads
to the conclusion that in ‘researching others’ attention has to be paid to historical context
and to the maintenance of a critical relation to the research topic. A sustaining focus on the
self-reflexivity of the researcher as author and the continual interrogation of the social bases
of knowledge, together with a detail understanding of political agendas, are also important.
In paying attention to these aspects of research, materialism and critical discourse analysis
are to be seen as part of the same broad socio-political project rather than as opposing and
mutually exclusive perspectives.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd
Uncontrolled Keywords: researching epistemology social research
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood Studies
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
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Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 23:28


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