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  • 00:00

    [MUSIC PLAYING][An Introduction to Rapport, Resilience and Reflexivity]

  • 00:09

    EMMA MAYNARD: My name's Emma Maynard.[Emma Maynard, Senior Lecturer, University of Portsmouth]I'm a senior lecturer in educationat the University of Portsmouth, and I lead the childhoodstudies degrees.So I spend most of my time with undergraduate students,helping them learn about the families and lives of childrenin contemporary society.Before I came into the university,I was a practitioner and manager in a variety of social care

  • 00:33

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: roles, and most latterly, what we call early help, whichis also known as Tier 3, and thatmeans it's just before families need social workintervention in their lives.So they have a whole range of complex issues at that time.And in particular, I've got an interest around chronic illnessand how that impacts parents and children.For this tutorial, I'm going to focus

  • 00:53

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: on the three Rs of research as I see them, which is Rapport,Resilience, and Reflexivity.So rapport is about how you builda relationship in a research environment with people.And from my area of work, that probably meanspeople who feel quite vulnerable in different ways,and might have experienced a lossof professional intervention in their lives

  • 01:14

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: and a lot of people making judgments and assessmentsabout their lives.The resilience that comes with thatis for you as a researcher.How are you going to feel strong enoughto hear the stories that might come to you?And do you know what you're goingto do in the event of a story which troubles you in some way?So that's about you and how to lookafter yourself in that research environment,

  • 01:35

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: in that relationship.And the last one is reflexivity, whichis a little bit linked to the other two.Do you know how you're going to be able to respond and usethose unique human stories that cometo you in a way that really gives yousome authentic learning?The nature of my research indicates to methat I have to have a very reflexive structure,

  • 01:55

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: because I never know what people are going to say.So those are the three areas I'm going to cover.[Rapport]So the first thing I'm going to talk about is rapport,and this is really about setting up a positive researchrelationship with your participants.First of all, this has to be differentfrom any other professional relationship they

  • 02:16

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: might come across.Research is not about intervention,but it is about maintaining that ethical stanceand taking care of people that you're researching with.So one of the ways in which I build that rapportis to start off with problem-free talk.And this is actually a technique I learned in practice, whichis actually about leveling the playing field and the power

  • 02:37

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: dynamics.So there's a massive difference between saying to somebody,so tell me what's going wrong in your lifeas you start point, as opposed to saying, wow,this weather is really hot, or I really love your dress,or how did you find your journey here today?And something that is about normal small talk between twopeople rather than this kind of onerous idea

  • 02:57

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: that you're going to be making a judgment about their lives.So I find that a really useful wayto start off that relationship.I'm always really careful in checking and recheckingconsent.So consent needs to be informed, and so youneed to spend plenty of time looking at,what does this project actually mean?

  • 03:17

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: What am I going to do with the information you tell me?What questions have you got about what I'm going to do?And To make sure you go back again and recheck.I recently had an interview where I had consent, hadgone through all of that.But when it actually came to that interview,the person said, actually, I don't want to be recorded.And that was because she was fleeing domestic violence,

  • 03:38

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: and the thought of being recordedwas just too much for her.So I had to be able to reassure her and use strategiesto really reassure her that I wasn't going to do anythingwith her information, and that the recorder was switched offin order that she could feel safe.So you have to be able to tune in to wherepeople are at emotionally, and I think

  • 03:59

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: that's a massively important part of ethics, that we seethat as not just a thing to get through a process, but asan ongoing dynamic through that interview.In regard to building rapport with children,you're on a slightly different agenda again.Also, I use the problem-free talk,and it's just a way of striking up conversation with children,showing genuine interest in children as well as adults.

  • 04:22

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: And for me, you have to think about that research setting.Remember that you're an adult. They're a child.There's always going to be a power balance there.And for me, when I've researched with children in schools,for example, they're used to seeing teachersas people in authority.I look broadly like a teacher.So you're going to need to kind of get overthat and make this a slightly different relationship.

  • 04:44

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: One of the ways in which I've built rapport with childrenis to sit down and start drawing things with them.That could just be a free thing about,if you want to draw a picture for me,or I might start drawing a picture of them.I invite them to laugh at my really, reallyvery poor drawing skills, and justhave a bit of a giggle with them as a startpoint for a good, natural conversation.

  • 05:07

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: [Resilience]The next thing I want to talk about is resilience,and this is really about looking after yourself as a researcherand understanding how that helps keep your participants safeas well.You can't go into a conversation with somebodywho's going to feel vulnerable or maybe emotionalif you don't feel strong enough to cope with what you hear.

  • 05:30

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: So there is a whole question about whether youneed some sort of professional experience or experienceof shadowing professional people before you go into this field.I would not go into an area I have no professional knowledgeabout and just start researching with them off cold.For example, working with violent offenders

  • 05:52

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: is not something I've ever done myself,so I'd be very cautious about doing that,because I don't have enough instinctive knowledgeof the field.What I also make sure I do is I'vegot plenty of supervisory support around me.Are there people that you can offload to, process with,which also helps in terms of analyzing your data?You need really to be able to have somebody

  • 06:13

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: that you can talk through the issueswith and make sure you have a way of debriefingafter interviews that might have been heavy.Another key thing for me is makingsure you have referral routes.So if somebody presents to you as havinga massive amount of need, and in a research role,you can't carry on seeing them week after week,you do need to have somewhere you can refer them on to.

  • 06:36

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: That helps the person you're interviewing,but also helps you in knowing that somebody else willbe there to carry on and support that personafter the interview.[Reflexivity]I also want to talk about reflexivity,and this is really understanding that all human stories areunique.So when you sit down and ask somebody

  • 06:56

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: what matters in their lives, anything could come out.A recent example of this is where I did some researchin a children's center, and my briefwas to understand what moms had really gained from usingchildren's center services.So those would be things like toy libraries,breastfeeding support, parenting advice, toddler taming,

  • 07:18

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: confident parenting, those kind of servicesthat were on offer to parents.But when I said to this mom, what really matteredto you about the children's center she said,they saved my life.And in no way could I have anticipatedthat she would say that and then understandwhat she meant by it.And a really traumatic story came out

  • 07:38

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: of that piece of research.So I needed to be able to have a structure whichallowed me to respond to her.Not my preconceived ideas of how usefulit would be for a single mom to usea toy library, but rather what that meaning thathad in her life.And actually, it wasn't about the toy libraryor the breastfeeding support.It was about the people that she met in the center day to day.

  • 08:01

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: The staff, the other moms, and the fact that she had somewhereto go to every day when she was feeling incredibly vulnerable,and in fact, was incredibly vulnerable.So the learning that I gained from that projectwas very different to what I anticipated gaining.And for me, when you're dealing with individual storiesand you're interested in how individuals

  • 08:23

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: cope in their particular circumstances,it's all about being able to listen and respond reflexively.The other thing that you really need to bear in mindis that, what's going to happen if you'reworried about a child or an adult who needs protection?And so you need to have, again, a structurewhich reflects the fact that a disclosure of a child at risk

  • 08:47

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: is going to have to be referred on to a professional agency.So that's part of your reflexivity,really, is to expect the unexpectedand to know what you're going to do in the event of somethingneeding to happen outside of that research relationship.[Conclusion]

  • 09:07

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: To conclude this tutorial, I thinkthe three Rs are wrapped up in ethicsand a concept of micro ethics.And that is those little nuances thatgo on throughout that research relationship.So while you're building rapport,you're actually thinking about, whatis this person experiencing?What is it like for them to tell their story to me?And how am I going to be worthy of the trust

  • 09:30

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: that they've put in me to look after their story?In terms of that resilience, it'salso about their ethical consideration.You have a responsibility to that participantto make sure that you can cope with a storythat they're going to tell you, and howto deal with it professionally and beaccountable for any decisions that youmake as a result of hearing that story.

  • 09:52

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: And thirdly, the reflexivity is also bound up in ethicsbecause it's about, how can you beresponsive to that individual and stillprovide the outcomes for your researchthat you're also accountable for providing?So if you think that ethics is an ongoing process thatwraps up these three Rs, that leaves you

  • 10:12

    EMMA MAYNARD [continued]: with rapport, resilience, and reflexivity.[MUSIC PLAYING][Reflective Questions][1.How can you anticipate which moments in a person's life areof greatest significance?][2.How do you think it feels to tell your story in a researchcontext?][How would you like to be treated as a participant?][3.What leads your research-- the factors you have identifiedas being most important, or those identifiedby participants themselves?][What are the strengths and limitations of eitherapproach?][Further Reading][Fook, J., and Askeland, GA (2006).The "critical" in critical reflection.][In S. White, J. Fook, & F. Gardner (Eds.),Critical reflection in health and social care (pp.40 53).Maidenhead-- Open University Press.][Daley, K. (2012).Gathering sensitive stories-- Using care theoryto guide ethical decision making in research interviewswith young people.Youth Studies Australia, 31(3) 27 34.][Maynard, E. (2017).Hearing the story-- A case study exploration of microethicsand care in research.SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi--10.4135/9781526405791]

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Publication Year: 2018

Video Type:Tutorial

Methods: Recruiting participants, Reflexivity

Keywords: balance of power; coping mechanisms; listening skills; resiliency; role of the researcher; Social networks and social support ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Emma Maynard explores the importance of rapport, resilience, and reflexivity on the researcher and subsequently on the research process.

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An Introduction to Rapport, Resilience and Reflexivity

Emma Maynard explores the importance of rapport, resilience, and reflexivity on the researcher and subsequently on the research process.

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