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Reflexivity is the
researcher considering own beliefs affecting the research data gathering to
handle the issue of subjectivity. Each researcher doing a study, looks through lenses
of a belief system based on individual worldview which is result of different motivations,
prejudice, experience of life and etc. While questioning the social issues Enosh
& Ben Ari (2015) defined reflexivity as the constant movement between being
in the phenomenon and stepping outside of it. Conducting a research in social
science has a great deal of constant influence on the researcher and the research.
Considering the story of elephant in dark room is a perfect example of researchers’
perception in social science; all findings can be right and different but at
the same time wrong. No matter to what extend researchers are trying to be not
subjective, keep the distance and stay neutral, they should recognise blind
spots of their cognition system and limitations. In a simple word, critical
reflection in relation to a particular study help the people who are involved
to explore, learn and understand what they bring to the research and how they
influence it. The purpose of reflexivity can be described as the exploration of
the “ways in which a researcher’s involvement with a particular study
influences, acts upon and informs such research? (Nightingale &
Cromby, 1999, p. 228).

Personal and
epistemological are two types of known reflexivity. Personal reflexivity refers
to how a person’s values, beliefs, political commitments, wider aims in life, social
identity and interests influence his or her research while epistemological
reflexivity attempts to identify the foundations of knowledge and the
implications of any findings by engaging with questions such as how has the research
question defined and limited what can be find (Ryan, 2005).

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When somebody
wants to be a researcher, requires certain levels of knowledge, skills and understanding
of the ethical values and this can be achieved by covering some courses. But this
development does not end and the researcher in each stage of his study before, during
and after that is developing new perceptions as internal development. In my
study I am an insider and this role is a powerful reflexive position used to
gain deeper engagement and insight into participants’ understanding of lived
experience, which has always been part of the nature of qualitative research
(Cooper & Rogers, 2014). I am trying to provide a rigour structure by spotting
my own understating of the issue and provide a robust structure by considering
my own influence in the result. By reflecting on my experience as a language
learner in Iran, I first review the influence of myself on the study’s design
of positioning myself as a whole-person-researcher (personal reflexivity). Then
focus on the fieldwork with its embedded processes of trying and undergoing
(Dewey, 1997), and examine the outcome for myself, as the researcher engaging
in that particular research (epistemological reflexivity). I should stepped
back to reflect and stepped up to action in processes of continuous
transformation and development in my interview questions and even my data analysis.
I should be aware of details about issues that may potentially bias my
investigation and while undergoing the interview with others try to expose any
biases they may have.

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