This chapter explores researcher reflexivity developed during an institutional ethnography (IE; Smith, 2005) of a primary school. It illustrates the use of a narrative method, “The Listening Guide” (Mauthner & Doucet, 2008), in particular my production of an “I” poem after being interviewed by research participants. This promotes an ethical approach to researcher reflexivity, enabling an explicit analysis of the researcher’s subjectivities in the use of ethnographic methods and a deeper understanding of privilege and power on the part of the researcher. The approach works to negate any researcher authority over the textual representations of the research participants and objectification of them. Consideration is given to the tensions between the sociological basis of IE and how this is troubled by particular approaches to narrative production. The point of reflection in institutional ethnography is not to learn about the researcher per se, but to learn about the researcher’s location in the “relations of ruling” (Smith, 2005), that is, the researcher’s standpoint. There are particular tensions for institutional ethnographers in seeking to avoid objectification of participants through both “institutional capture” and “privileged irresponsibility,” specifically; the imposition of researcher subjectivities in listening for, asking about, and producing texts. A significant concern, for example, in this research context is the researcher’s place and privilege in the education hierarchy. I argue that it is precisely because of the troubling nature of the Listening Guide and “I” poems that they can be utilized by institutional ethnographers in revealing and analyzing the co-ordination of social relations.
This paper focuses on the analytical importance of voice and the value of listening and representing voices in private contexts. It highlights the under-theorised position…
This paper focuses on the analytical importance of voice and the value of listening and representing voices in private contexts. It highlights the under-theorised position of relationality in family research. The paper introduces the listening guide as a unique analytical approach to sharpen researchers’ understanding of private experiences and articulations.
This is a conceptual and technical paper. It problematises voice, authority and analytical representation in the private location of family and examines how relational dynamics interact with the subtleties of voice in research. It also provides a practical illustration of the listening guide detailing how researchers can use this analytical approach.
The paper illustrates how the listening guide works as an analytical method, structured around four stages and applied to interview transcript excerpts.
The listening guide bridges private and public knowledge-making, by identifying competing voices and recognises relations of power in family research. It provides qualitative market researchers with an analytical tool to hear changes and continuities in participants’ sense of self over time.
The paper highlights how peripheral voices and silence can be analytically surfaced in private domains. A variety of studies and data can be explored with this approach, however, research questions involving vulnerable or marginal experiences are particularly suitable.
The paper presents the listening guide as a novel analytic method for researching family life – one, which recovers the importance of voice and serves as a means to address the lack of debate on voice and authority in qualitative market research. It also highlights the under-theorised position of relationality in tracing the multiple subjectivities of research participants. It interrupts conventional qualitative analysis methods, directing attention away from conventional coding and towards listening as an alternative route to knowledge.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the personal and contextual factors that shape the work experiences of Filipino social enterprise employees by listening to voices…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the personal and contextual factors that shape the work experiences of Filipino social enterprise employees by listening to voices within their narratives.
In total, 11 social enterprise employees were interviewed about their work experiences. Using the Listening Guide as a method of analysis, common themes and the multiple voices within the narratives were identified.
Upon analysis, four stories were identified: stories of serving others, stories of providing for family, stories of managing relationships and stories of personal learning. Results show that the experiences and multiple identities of employees evoke the duality and hybridity that characterizes social enterprise organizations. The importance of relationships in collectivist cultures, and the salience of the indigenous concept of kapwa are also discussed.
The use of narratives, and particularly, of voices within narratives as a critical tool to study work experiences is highlighted. Generalizability of results may be limited by contextual factors, such as organization type and country culture.
In this study, the narratives of social enterprise workers from different positions were explored. The voices within their narratives were analyzed and used as a means to understand how they viewed the self, others, and their work in social enterprises embedded in collectivist and developing country contexts.
In this chapter, I highlight the need to turn the institutional ethnography (IE) lens of enquiry onto IE itself, and consequently, the importance for institutional…
In this chapter, I highlight the need to turn the institutional ethnography (IE) lens of enquiry onto IE itself, and consequently, the importance for institutional ethnographers to attend to their standpoint in taking up and activating their understanding of IE. Many, including Wise and Stanley (1990) and Walby (2007), celebrate Smith’s sociology but raise important ontological and epistemological questions about IE’s own recursive power. While IE has developed from a critique of wider sociological inquiry, it is troubled by the institutional ethnographer’s own standpont when using IE uncritically, without reflexivity of their standpoint in relation with IE and knowledge generation. IE stands in relation between the researcher and the everyday of the research participants in a local research context that is particular and plural, situated and dynamic. The chapter highlights a particular critique by Dorothy Smith of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus as a “blobontology,” yet considers the theoretical similarities between Smith and Bourdieu. I argue that institutional ethnographers and IE itself are not be immune from the kinds of unravelling that Smith undertakes of other approaches to sociological inquiry. Researcher standpoint, reflexivity, and their relation to knowledge generation are therefore critical aspects of approach without which there is potential to “other” and develop morally questionable representations of people that diminishes the actuality of their subjective experience.
THREE hundred years ago, on January 28th, 1613, the death occurred of Sir Thomas Bodley, whose name is immortalized in the library that he restored and which bears his name. Oxford's famous library, though originally founded by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, owes its establishment to Thomas Bodley, who was born at Exeter in 1545.