The title of this year's Qualitative Research Symposium is Researcher Vulnerability.
Through this symposium, we will open discussions about how vulnerability is constructed, and what vulnerability looks and feels like for researchers, our research projects, and the methods we use.
The symposium holds space for unpacking and examining formations and conceptualisations of vulnerability, the effects of vulnerability, and methods of and for vulnerability. Although it's a dimension that is always in play in qualitative research, researcher vulnerability is rarely acknowledged or discussed (in formal capacities).
Formations and conceptualisations of researcher vulnerability
This theme focuses on the diversity of forms of vulnerability amongst qualitative researchers (e.g., physical, social, psychological, cultural, political, financial, etc.) considerations may include:
- How is vulnerability constructed within the development of, enacting of, or reflecting on qualitative research?
- How do different constructs of vulnerability include or exclude the ways we think about ourselves in research?
- How can reflexivity on vulnerability help to shape ways how research is organised?
- In what ways could researcher vulnerability be (re)conceptualised and developed to advance the field of qualitative research?
Effects of vulnerability
This theme focuses on how vulnerability amongst researchers or in the researcher-participant relationship can impact upon the research process and the decisions we make, considerations may include:
- How does researcher vulnerability reveal or illustrate itself in our writings?
- How is researcher vulnerability related to quality, trustworthiness, or rigor of research?
- In which stages of the research process might researcher vulnerability matter, and in what ways?
- How do we prepare ourselves for, negotiate, and respond to our own vulnerability?
- What outlets exist for exploring or own vulnerability?
- How do we design more ethical projects based on recognition of researcher and participant vulnerability?
Methods of and for vulnerability
This focuses on methods and methodologies that can, should, or already attend to or incorporate researcher vulnerability into the research process, considerations may include:
- How do we build researcher vulnerability into our project design?
- What methods are available to us that directly explore this ethically, productively and politically (e.g., feminist sensibilities, postcolonial approaches, indigenous methodologies)?
- How do we make vulnerability a productive component of qualitative research?
- How does a focus on the vulnerability of the researcher ask us to reconsider our methods?