Reflexivities of Discomfort: Unsettling Subjectivities in and through Research

Baker, A, Quayle, A and Ali, L 2018, 'Reflexivities of Discomfort: Unsettling Subjectivities in and through Research' in Nicole Oke, Christopher C. Sonn and Alison Baker (ed.) Places of Privilege Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Identities, Change and Resistance, Koninklijke Brill NV, Netherlands, pp. 195-214.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Reflexivities of Discomfort: Unsettling Subjectivities in and through Research
Author(s) Baker, A
Quayle, A
Ali, L
Year 2018
Title of book Places of Privilege Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Identities, Change and Resistance
Publisher Koninklijke Brill NV
Place of publication Netherlands
Editor(s) Nicole Oke, Christopher C. Sonn and Alison Baker
Start page 195
End page 214
Subjects Social and Community Psychology
Race and Ethnic Relations
Summary With a shared disciplinary background in psychology, our research focuses on issues of power, identity making, and social relations across differences arising from lines of race, class and gender. In this chapter, we reflect on power, positionality, and processes of knowledge production in our research in and with communities. The 'crisis of representation' in qualitative research has been well rehearsed, as is the push for researchers to account for their role in knowledge production through reflexivity. Yet as Wanda Pillow (2003) warns, there is a danger that self-reflexivity can become a reductionist, comfortable exercise that brings the promise of release from "tension, voyeurism, ethnocentrism - a release from your discomfort with representation through a transcendent clarity" (p. 186). In this chapter, we explore reflexivities of discomfort, which Pillow (2003) described as "a positioning of reflexivity not as clarity, honesty, or humility, but as practice of confounding disruptions" (p. 192). We seek to highlight the messiness of engaged qualitative community based research by focusing on particular moments of disruption, which prompted reflexivity within discomfort. These moments of disruption provide insight into dynamics of power and privilege and the affective component of our work. We first discuss our shared concern with interrogating the circuits of dispossession and privilege (Fine & Ruglis, 2009) in post-colonising Australia. We then describe our approach to placing and 'working through' discomfort.
Copyright notice Copyright © 2018 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Keyword(s) Community research
power
identity
race
gender
reflexivity
ISBN 9789004381407
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