Core Practice 3 — Identity: Noticing your lenses

This recording supports you to explore your identity as researcher, and articulate some of the lenses through which you approach your research. We assume that there is no such thing as un-biased research. The questions we ask, the methods we choose, the way we observe and later analyse, are all highly influenced by our upbringing and education, as well as the general cultural concepts and philosophies we identify with. Using an object to ‘represent’ your research and your lenses is a technique of distancing and objectification, and you can materialise the difference between your roles and your research. This can highlight your ‘assumed’ knowledge towards your topic and simultaneously unveil something about it that you might not have been aware of before.


Further Reading

Anderson, L. (2006) ‘Analytic Autoethnography’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 35(4), pp. 373-394.

Banks, J. A. (1998) ‘The Lives and Values of Researchers: Implications for Educating Citizens in a Multicultural Society’, Educational Researcher, 27(7), pp. 4-17.

Behar, R. (1996) The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology that Breaks your Heart. Boston: Beacon Press.

Biagioli, M. (1995) ‘Tacit knowledge, courtliness, and the scientist’s body’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 69-81.

Buzard, J. (2003) ‘On Auto-Ethnographic Authority’, The Yale Journal of Critcicism, 16(1), pp. 61-91.

Chavez, C. (2008) ‘Conceptualizing from the Inside: Advantages, Complications, and Demands on Insider Positionality’, The Qualitative Report, 13(3), pp. 474-494.

Collins, P. H. (1986) ‘Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought’, Social Problems, 33(6), pp. 14-32.

De Andrade, L. L. (2000) ‘Negotiating from the Inside. Constructing Racial and Ethnic Identity in Qualitative Research’, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 29(3), pp. 268-290.

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E. and Bochner, A. P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1).

Hammergren, L. (1995) ‘Different personas” a history of one’s own?’, in Leigh Foster, S. (ed.) Choreographing history Unnatural acts: theorizing the performative. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, pp. 185-192.

Hurd, T. L. and McIntyre, A. (1996) ‘The Seduction of Sameness: Similarity and Representing the Other’, Feminism & Psychology, 6(1), pp. 86-91.

Kraft Alsop, C. (2002) ‘Home and Away: Self-Reflexive Auto-/Ethnography’, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 3(3), pp. Available at:, accessed: 01.06.2010.

May, T. and Perry, B. (2017) Reflexivity: the essential guide. Los Angeles and London: Sage.

Merriam, S. B., Johnson-Bayley, J., Lee, M.-Y., Kee, Y., Ntseane, G. and Muhamad, M. (2001) ‘Power and positionality: negotiating insider/outsider status within and across cultures’, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 20(5), pp. 406-416.

Nabhan-Warren, K. (2011) ‘Embodied Research and Writing: A Case for Phenomenologically Oriented Religious Studies Ethnographies’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 79(2), pp. 378-407.

Reinharz, S. (1997) ‘Who Am I? The Need for a Variety of Selves in the Field’, in Hertz, R. (ed.) Reflexivity and Voice. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, pp. 3-20.

Romanyshyn, R. D. (2007) The Wounded Researcher. Research with Soul in Mind. New Orleans, Louisiana: Spring Journal Books.

Rosaldo, R. (1989) Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.

Todres, L. (2007) Embodied Enquiry. Phenomenological touchstones for research, psychotherapy and spirituality. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.