With the launch of the Critical Perspectives II module, came a plethora of assessment methods. And, upon viewing these methods, I almost instantaneously made my choice. Academic blogs, and blogs per se, are used by a variety of people, for a variety of different reasons. Kjellberg (2010) identified as part of her motivation for blogging research study, that blogging often aids scholars to keep up to date and to remember content, with a particular emphasis upon supporting their writing activities. This particular assessment method would most definitely take me outside of my comfort zone, something I would need to become accustomed to, as a novice researcher.
Dyslexia makes it difficult for me to process new information, it delays my ability to recall new knowledge which is out of context and within unfamiliar territory. My learning can become fragmented and confusing and the whole process can be incredibly slow. As a ‘high functioning’ dyslexic, this is beyond frustrating. Blogging appears to help me to retain and recall some of this new knowledge as I apply it to a context within my blog. As a researcher I consider ‘blogging’ may be beneficial towards enabling me to gain a greater understanding to my role and the impact I will have as a researcher, within the process and, on others. The use of regular ‘blog’ writing to aid reflexivity, will require me to analyse my personal entanglement with the research, in order to create openness and transparency throughout.
The Becoming a Reflexive Researcher blog, discusses the importance of applying a reflexive approach to qualitative research, and although Mauthner and Doucet (2003) recognise the importance of reflexivity, they do not hide from the fact that information regarding achieving reflexivity is scarce. My current blogs have made me mindful of concerns regarding the subjectivity which surrounds qualitative research, and the influence a researcher can have within Participatory Action Research (PAR). The application of reflexive analysis may enable for the demonstration of rigour and trustworthiness, as the process of reflexivity requires scrutiny of not just the researcher, but the question and methods of their research study. Jootun and McGhee (2009) conclude that, the use of reflexivity within the realms of social science research, has expanded, and now the focus is no longer to detach the researcher from their research, but to illustrate how their involvement has impacted upon the research process.
One of the many significant factors of becoming a reflexive researcher, is to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the power differences (Rinaldi 2013), between the researched (participant) and the researcher. And in doing so there is a need to have an understanding of one’s own epistemological assumptions in relation to reflexivity, along with a clear understanding of one’s ontology.
Writing is difficult, and reflexive writing even more so.
However, having established the importance of reflexivity within research, I now need to ‘walk the walk’, and put reflexivity into action and to do this I plan to continue my professional blog into year 2…
If I make it that far.
Jootun, D. and McGhee, D. (2009) Reflexivity: promoting rigour in qualitative research. Nursing Standard. 23(23), pp. 42-46.
Kjellberg, S. (2010) Motivations for blogging in a scholarly context. First Monday, 15(8). Available at: http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2962/2580 [Accessed 1 July 2016].
Mauthner, N. and Doucet, A. (2003) Reflexive Accounts and Accounts of Reflexivity in Qualitative Data Analysis. Sociology, 37(3), pp. 413-431.
Rinaldi, J. (2013) Reflexivity in Research: Disability between the Lines. Disability Studies Quarterly, 33. Available at: http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/3711/3227 [Assessed 1 July 2016].