Mette Sagbakken
AASAM

An attitude of attending systematically to the context of knowledge
construction – how, and what can we know?

Personal and epistemological reflexivity

Epistemology – branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope
(limitations) of knowledge. Addresses the questions:

What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? To what extent is it possible for
a given subject to be known?

We tend to view the ‘findings’ of research as naturally emerging from the data
collection/analysis, but findings are shaped by choices made by researchers

Metaphor: A builder can construct different buildings with the same bricks
Malterud K. Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines.Lancet 2001; 358: 483-8. Carla Willig, (2001) Introducing
Qualitative Research in Psychology (p. 10).

’Personal reflexivity’:
”Involves reflecting upon the ways in which our own values, experiences,
interests, beliefs, political commitments, wider aims in life and social
identities have shaped the research”
Involves thinking about how the research may have affected and possibly
changed us, as people and as researchers
Malterud K. Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines.Lancet 2001; 358: 483-8. Carla Willig, (2001)
Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology (p. 10).
‘Epistemological reflexivity’ requires us to engage with questions
such as:

How has the research question defined and limited what can be 'found?‘

How has the design of the study and the method of analysis 'constructed' the
data and the findings?

How could the research question have been investigated differently?
(literature review, previous assumptions, “truths”/indeterminacies)

To what extent would this have given rise to a different understanding of the
phenomenon under investigation?
Malterud K. Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines. Lancet 2001; 358: 483-8. Carla Willig, (2001)
Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology (p. 10).

Epistemological reflexivity encourages us to reflect upon the
assumptions we have made in the course of the research – helps us to
think about the implications of such assumptions

Critical language awareness – part of reflexivity

Language does not mirror reality – same phenomenon can be described
in different ways – give rise to different understandings/construct
meaning (half-empty/half-full)

Students should discuss the concepts they use
Carla Willig, (2001) Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology (p. 10).

Bourdieu: there are social structures around us containing ”taken for granted
values and knowledge”. Decides (to a large extent) what kind of percpetions
of the social world we believe are the ”right ones”

What is e.g morally acceptable or nonacceptable attributes? How are people
suppose to behave in certain situations? What is proper taste? (social class)
What norms/values within the health services is beyond discussion?

”Taken for granted” values and knowledge make us use certain classification
systems and categories to describe and relate to the social reality in a spesific
way (obs: research on own workplace)

We must not mix taken for granted values and norms with scientific «truths».
Ethics; values, and norms can vary (avoid etnosentrism)
Bourdieu, Pierre (1977): Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1999): Meditasjoner. Oslo: Pax forlag.

”Taken for granted” knowledge and values – constructed in a way that
makes it difficult for people to separate between existing structures, the
effect they have, and how they came to exist

’Doxa' – “universe of the undisputed” (observations; glimps of doxa?)
Differ from culture to culture, between social classes

’Habitus’ : Embodied knowledge (unconsiouss) – internalised programs
gouvering our thoughts and behaviour. Shown through how we classify
and relate to the world around us, how we sosially interact with others
(culture, class)
Bourdieu, Pierre (1977): Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1999): Meditasjoner. Oslo: Pax forlag.

We influence our research in all phases, independent of methodology,
because of who we are, the approach we chose, out presuppositions
(why do you do this research? strong opinions? agendas?)

Everyone have ”blind spots” – making us unaware that we may follow
clues that we have introduced ourselves. Other clues we may not see…

Important to make sure that we systematically, in all phases of the
research process, include questions related to personal and
epistemological reflextion – to reduce bias

Be aware of/challenge your preconceptions (”the researcher’s backpack”):
Previous personal/professional experiences, prestudy beliefs about how
things are, motivation/qualifications for exploring the topic,
perspectives/theoretical foundations related to education and interest

Be aware of and challenge theoretical frame of reference (”the reading
glasses”): Theories, models, and notions applied for interpretation of the
material and for understanding a specific situation

Who am I? What are values, norms and knowledge I take for granted? What
shaped them? Are they changing during the research process? What are my
reading glasses?
Malterud K. Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines. Lancet 2001; 358: 483-8.

Establish metapositions – strategies for creating adequate distance from
a study setting that you are personally involved in. Enables us (to a
certain extent) to see ourself and what we do from the side

E.g. disturb your own sovereignty by working with others/letting others
get insight and comment on your research process (other professions?)

Triangulate; methods, researchers, theories

Ask yourself what you see, why you see it, and what you might not see,
why do you follow the tracks you follow? (stop and think!)

Establish analytical procedures that allows you to challenge (in the field)
your questions, your design/method, your preliminary findings

Reflect on your role in the datacollection. How do you approach the
informants? How and why do you respond to certain types of answers,
behaviour?

Are the data you are getting changing you? How, why? What influence
does it have? (personal interest in certain areas, emotional aspects,
relation to informants)

Write self-critical accounts, research diaries
How to systematically reflect? Cont.

The ”knower’s mirror” (metaposition): To able to see yourself clearly in
the mirror, you cannot be to near, not to far away.
To create metapositions to help us reflect about our role in the research
process – work actively to create the ”optimal” distance
Malterud K. (1996) Kvalitative metoder i medisinsk forskning

Being a woman
Balanced inferiority?

Representing an egalitarian culture
Habitus less classoriented?
Being a nurse
Closer cultural proximity?


Being inspired by anthropology and holism
The whole is more than the sum of the parts. No limitations..
♥Paul Farmer…

Being white and rich
Expectations…

Change of role due to design – becoming
“friends”
Change of roles due to interaction over 6 months
Ethical dilemmas
Influence of findings?

http://viscog.beckman.illinois.edu/grafs/demos/15.html
Descargar

Reflexivity - A network for advanced practice education in the