The duplicity of my insider/outsider role while conducting research

Gera, Christina (2014) The duplicity of my insider/outsider role while conducting research. Contemporary Ethnography Across the Disciplines (CEAD) 2014: Sensual Landscapes of Ethnography, Hamilton, New Zealand, 26-28 November, 2014. (Unpublished)

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The duplicity of my insider/outsider role while conducting research This presentation is based on my PhD research. My research involves student participants’ experiences of writing academic assignments in their first year of tertiary study. This workshop is based on my experiences of collecting evidence, mainly in the form of conducting interviews and observations. For my research I intended to take a peripheral membership role (Adler & Adler, 1987) in that I would have an outsider role. In other words I would not take part in the core activities of my participants but that I would attempt to seek an insider’s perspective on my research topic area. However, it soon became apparent that my role was more complex than simply undertaking a peripheral membership role. For example, in liaising with staff at times our interaction patterns were staff to researcher. However, at other times staff and I interacted as fellow PhD candidates. With students at times interaction patterns were that of researcher to student. However, at times I took inadvertently took the role of more experienced writer than researcher to student. These changes in roles had both advantages and disadvantages. During this presentation I will discuss complexities of my membership role, in that I came to this research with both aspects of an insider and an outsider. In addition,while conducting my research at times I had an insider role and at other times I had an outsider role. I will discuss how ethical dilemmas can arise while conducting research and how decisions made can lead to the blurring of researcher roles. Christina is undertaking a PhD (Education) through the University of Waikato. Her thesis title is: Academic literacies, through the writing of assignments, in a preservice primary teacher education programme: Student and staff perspectives. She works at Wintec, in Student Learning Services, where she assists students with their academic literacy development.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop, or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:ethnography, insider, outsider, academic literacy
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Corporate > Student Learning Services
ID Code:3468
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Deposited On:10 Dec 2014 21:46
Last Modified:10 Dec 2014 21:46

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