Approaching responsibility: A sensory approach to reflexivity on researcher-participant relations

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Abstract

Feminist researchers have long argued that refl exivity is key to a responsible research practice. As a method, reflexivity has the capacity to reveal power relations and highlight situated perspectives. Consequently, it has become a mainstream tool in qualitative research. Yet it has also been criticised for producing tick-the-box reflections and promoting a researcher-centric narrative that undermines participants’ contributions to knowledge production. This article takes a sensory approach to reflexivity and considers its methodological implications. Borrowing our interpretation of recognisability from Skeggs (1997), and that of emplacement from Pink’s (2015) conceptualisation of sensory ethnography, we use the compound concept of ‘recognisable emplacement’ as a reflexive theoretical lens with which to analyse the researcher-participant relationship. We are furthermore methodologically inspired by duo-ethnography in that we as co-authors create a collective and reflexive space for analysis. The analysis therefore enables us to illustrate the dynamic negotiations between participants, environment, and researcher, and to shed light on the sensory cues that form these negotiations. Based on an understanding of responsibility as a multifaceted and situated practice we suggest that a sensory approach to reflexivity increases the researcher’s capacity to take responsibility by foregrounding the intersubjectivity of researcher-participant relations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKvinder, Køn & Forskning
Volume34
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
ISSN0907-6182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Responsibility
  • emplacement
  • recognition
  • reflexivity
  • researcher-participant relationship
  • sensory ethnography

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