Encounters with identity: reflexivity and positioning in an interdisciplinary research project

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This paper discusses researcher identity, positioning, and reflexivity as they relate to the experience of a researcher on an interprofessional research project. The project collected video recordings of students and healthcare professionals in university and clinical settings. During the process of data collection, ‘conversations’ emerged between the researcher and participants. They occurred before and after recordings took place and outside of the planned methods of data collection. These unaccounted-for-encounters between the researcher and participant produced a negotiated understanding of who each other were and how it related to the research process. But dichotomous notions of insider and outsider identity seemed too fixed to examine the social construction of knowledge produced in these encounters. This paper examines the methodological reflections on those unaccounted-for-encounters, which emerged as instances of participant focussed reflexivity. It aims to demonstrate how positioning can offer a more refined means with which to highlight the processes and practices which participants and researchers undertake in interaction. These researcher–participant encounters were sites of knowledge construction transversing professional and educational territories and transient opportunities for negotiated intersubjectivity. As such, they highlight the role that positioning can play in not only individual methodological matters but for multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary research teams.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Research and Method in Education
Issue number3
Early online date17 Apr 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 Apr 2017


  • Positioning
  • reflexivity
  • researcher identity
  • positioning theory


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