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“Me” as the research instrument : subject positions, feminist values and multiple “mes”
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Teresa MooreTeresa Moore
Researchers are an integral part of the research process; for many qualitative researchers they become the research instrument. Through being that research instrument the researcher becomes intimately involved with the participants, their stories and their lives. Data are processed through the researcher, who makes decisions about what is regarded as data, how those data are collected and finally how the data are used. With this in mind the feminist researcher wears many hats and assumes many roles, in effect becoming what I term multiple “mes”. This term refers to the multiple subject positions that the researcher occupies.Therefore in this paper I explore the researcher as a research instrument from a feminist poststructural positioning and what this meant for designing data collection methods in my Doctor of Philosophy thesis. This exploration is done through the epistemological and ontological positioning of the feminist researcher and examines the corresponding methodological framework. From this framework many “mes” or other subject positions are constructed through the research journey. I argue that it is through the negotiation of multiple “mes” that the researcher demonstrates both personal values and institutional expectations. This paper concludes by elaborating the notion of doing no harm in the ‘field’ and reconciling feminist values.