A Reflexive Lens: Exploring Dilemmas of Qualitative Methodology Through the Concept of Reflexivity
Keywords:Reflexivity, Qualitative Methodology, Epistemology, Research Relationships, Power, Positionality, Quality, Research Dilemmas
Reflexivity has emerged as a central and critical concept in the methodology of qualitative social research. However, the concept of reflexivity is defined and taken up in a wide variety of ways, and the assumptions underlying each incarnation have particular implications for research outcomes. This paper argues that these various conceptualizations of reflexivity offer the qualitative researcher a critical lens through which to analyze key methodological dilemmas. Exploring the concept of reflexivity in its various forms provides an entry-point for understanding key dilemmas in the epistemology of qualitative methodology, qualitative research relationships, and the evaluation of qualitative research. These dilemmas present important challenges in terms of the complex issues of power, knowledge production and subjectivity. This paper thus demonstrates that a reflexive exploration of methodological dilemmas can provide a starting point for assessing the consequences and transformative potential of our qualitative research.
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