Reflections on Complicated Positions in Field Research Away From Home

Abstract

This case study explores researcher positionality and its potential influence on the research process and the nature of findings. Positionality refers to the practice of a researcher identifying and negotiating positions, which can be multiple and changeable, in relation to the research project and research participants. This case study presents my experience of and reflection on positionality while undertaking qualitative research in an international setting. This case is generated from my PhD research, which explored the particular understanding and practice of a human rights–based approach to development in ActionAid Bangladesh, employing a qualitative case study. The research involved complicated positions between a researcher and a student and/or practitioner, and an insider and an outsider. This case study suggests the importance of reflecting a researcher’s positionality and provides practical insights into how to incorporate positionality issues into research practices.

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