Reflexivity is valuable in social research because it draws attention to the researcher as part of the world being studied and reminds us that the individuals involved in our research are subjects, not objects. By being reflexive we acknowledge that we cannot be separated from our biographies.
This volume reviews key debates concerning reflexivity in theory, methods, and practice. It mounts a defence of reflexivity against new materialist and post-qualitative critiques and the pressures exerted on scholars from the neoliberal marketized university system which privileges fast academia at the expense of slow, reflective scholarship. While defending reflexivity, this book also those identifies issues which plague mainstream sociological operationalizations of a positivistic form of reflexivity. It argues for the extension of reflexivity into domains otherwise neglected in public accounts, and a shift from reflexivity as an individualized quality of the researcher (used to judge peers and navel-gaze) to a feminist, collaborative, reflexive sensibility which is mindful of the wider contexts shaping the construction of knowledge(s), experience(s), and of the role of research communities.
Providing examples of reflexivity in action from academics at different stages of their careers, Reflexivity will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as Sociology, Qualitative Research Methods, Criminology, Ethnography, and Ethics of Research.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
Introduction: The Reflexive Turn and the Social Sciences
Chapter 1 Feminism and Reflexivity: Challenging the Myth of ‘Hygienic Research’
Chapter 2 New Materialism, Post-Qualitative Inquiry, Post-Humanism, and Diffractive
Methodologies: Exploring the ‘Posts’
Chapter 3 Reflexivity and Ethnography: Gendered Interactions and Emotions in Fieldwork with Boy Racers
Chapter 4 Emotions and Reflexivity in Social Research
Chapter 5 Reflexivity in Action: Journeys through the Professional and the Personal - Part 1: Reflections on ‘Becoming’ an Academic and Imposter Syndrome (Karen Lumsden)
Chapter 6 Reflexivity in Action: Journeys through the Professional and the Personal - Part 2: Writing to Inquire in the Midst of Thin Air (Jan Bradford)
Chapter 7 Reflexivity in Action: Journeys through the Professional and the Personal - Part 3: Precarity, Performativity and Politics in the Life of an Academic Researcher (Jackie Goode)
Chapter 8 Reflexivity, Power and Politics: Taking Sides in Research
Chapter 9 Reflecting on User Engagement, Dissemination and Knowledge Transfer in Academic and Police Settings
Karen Lumsden is Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Leicester, UK.
Jan Bradford is a doctoral researcher in the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Jackie Goode is Visiting Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, UK.