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Exploring the Concept of Embodied Research: Does It Take One to Know One?

By: , & Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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To what extent does being able to identify personally with one's research subject, and subjects, facilitate or hinder good social research? This article explores responses to that question through an analysis of the researchers' experiences of researching reproduction and motherhood with pregnant women and maternity care professionals while experiencing pregnancy, childbirth and miscarriage. Two case studies are employed to examine the influence of shared subjectivity on the understanding of the research topic, the collection of data, the researched and the researcher. The analysis reveals that in the specific case of research on pregnancy and childbirth, pregnancy is an effective means to empathy, with added dimensions of visibility and embodiment that serve to alter both the power and the vulnerability of all involved.

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