University of Bath

Qualitative Research Symposium 2018

The Symposium is a forum for researchers to facilitate interdisciplinary discussion of common features, challenges, and changes in qualitative research.

31 Jan 20188.00am
31 Jan 20184.00pm

How Do We Belong?

Researcher Positionality Within Qualitative Inquiry

Any form of qualitative inquiry is a social construction. The claims we make within our work are always negotiated through the voice of the author and as such are fused to narrative construction. Importantly, the role that the researcher plays in a research project requires some form of acknowledgement of awareness of that position. That awareness can be demonstrated in a variety of ways. Some authors choose to ‘reflect’ on their position within the discussion of their methods. Others write themselves directly into the work in order to ‘reveal’ their position, often more implicitly than explicitly. Some forms of writing engage that positionality directly, as a form of inquiry itself (e.g. autoethnography). Regardless of the form chosen to demonstrate positional awareness, qualitative researchers must necessarily engage in the ‘I-thou’ relationship of the work.

In the Symposium this year, we invite researchers to explore their positionality within their current work. Often, we do not have the time or space to explore these positions with much depth. Peer- reviewers, editors, and funders all tend to privilege the knowledge generated through the work over its multiple methodological nuances. As such, we aim to provide space for researchers to:

  • Reflect on their current work in terms of the ways in which their ideas, values, and beliefs shape and are shaped by the work.
  • Share and discuss how scholars in a variety of disciplines view, understand, and value the positionality of the researcher.
  • Consider other possibilities for thinking, sharing, and writing about positionality.

More than 50 abstracts were submitted to the Symposium this year. The schedule and details of the Symposium will be released in mid to late December or early January once authors, presenters, and speakers are confirmed.

This year we aim to publish short papers based on author contributions. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to submit a short paper following the Symposium. Details to follow the event.