Kim England “Getting Personal: Reflexivity, Positionality and Feminist Research,” The Professional Geographer, 1994, 46(1): 80-89.
Feminist and poststructural challenges to objectivist social science demand greater reflection by the researcher with the aim of producing more inclusive methods sensitive to the power relations in fieldwork. Following a discussion of contrasting approaches to these power relations, I present a reflexive examination of a research project of sexual identities. My reflections highlight some of the key ethical questions that face researchers conducting fieldwork, especially with regard to the relationship between the researcher and those being researched. My discussion of these dilemmas reflect the situated and partial nature of our understanding of ‘others.’ I argue that the researcher’s positionality and biography directly affect fieldwork and that fieldwork is a dialogical process which is structured by researcher and the participants.