Ethical Reflections: Examining Reflexivity Through the Narrative Paradigm
Bishop, Emily C
Shepherd, Marie L
Qualitative health research 2011 Sep; 21(9): 1283-94
Being reflexive and providing these reflections for public scrutiny is often considered a key element of ethical, rigorous qualitative research. Prevalent conceptualizations of reflexivity, however, need interrogating and sharpening. We aim to contribute to this by examining reflexive practice, and in particular researchers' reflexive accounts, through the lens of the narrative paradigm. Our aim is to demonstrate that acknowledging the role of narrative reconstruction in reflexivity creates more ethical research, and that it is therefore crucial for researchers to more explicitly recognize this. Both authors present an analysis of one particular exchange between interviewer and participant. This analysis highlights that despite our best efforts at "doing reflexivity," both immediately following and when reflecting back on an interview, there are influential factors that escape our gaze. Reflections of the past are particularly imperfect. Without fully recognizing this, we are not utilizing all the tools available for ensuring honest, ethical research.
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