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Critical Reflections on Research Methods

Critical Reflections on Research Methods

Doris S. Warriner | Martha Bigelow



This book explores the challenges and opportunities involved in conducting research with members of immigrant, refugee and other minoritized communities. Through first-hand reflective accounts, contributors explore community-based collaborative work, and suggest important implications for applied linguistics, educational research and anthropological investigations of language, literacy and culture. By critically reflecting on the power and limits of university-based research conducted on behalf of, or in collaboration with, members of local communities and by exploring the complicated relationships, dynamics and understandings that emerge, the chapters collectively demonstrate the value of reflecting on the possibilities and challenges of the research process, including the ethical and emotional dimensions of participating in collaborative research.

Finally we have a book that engages the messiness of research with, and in the service of, immigrant, refugee, and other minoritized communities. Addressing everyday challenges that emerge at all stages of the research process, this volume offers a vision for designing research that is responsive to the particular contexts of these communities.

Doris S. Warriner is Associate Professor of English, Arizona State University, USA. Her research interests include applied linguistics, literacy studies, and research methods.

Martha Bigelow is Professor in Second Language Education, University of Minnesota, USA. Her research interests include language teacher education and refugee education.

This gem of a book offers vivid and trenchant insights regarding the ongoing, ubiquitous ethical challenges inherent in qualitative research. The chapters reveal research dilemmas, scrutinize how linguistic and social inequalities shape research processes, and explore more transparent and humanizing approaches to data collection, analysis, and presentation.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
DOI iv
Contents v
Contributors vii
Introduction 1
Part 1: Language, Culture and Identity 11
1 ‘I have so many things to tell you, but I don’t know English’: Linguistic Challenges and Language Brokering 13
2 Revisiting Our Understandings in Ethnographic Research 31
3 The Trouble with Operationalizing People: My Research with Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) 43
4 A Researcher’s Coming-of-Age through Participatory Action Research: The Intersections of Cultures, Identities and Institutions 53
Part 2: Researcher Roles and Reciprocity 69
5 Doing Ethnographic Research as an Insider-Outsider: Reflections on Building Relationships and Doing Reciprocity 71
6 Researcher-Participant Relationships in Cross-Language Research: Becoming Cultural and Linguistic Insiders 85
7 Researching from the Margin: Challenges and Tensions of Doing Research within One’s Own Refugee Community 98
8 Working Toward a Humanizing Research Stance: Reflections on Modifying the Interview Process 110
Part 3: Relationships, Ethics, Power and Equity 125
9 Ethics in Practice and Answerability in Complex, Multi-participant Studies 127
10 Weaving Reciprocity in Research with(in) Immigrant and Refugee Communities 143
11 Anonymity, Vulnerability and Informed Consent: An Ethical-Methodological Tale 157
12 The Emotional Dimensions of Qualitative Community-Driven Research: How Interactions and Relationships Shape Processes of Knowledge Production 171
13 Perspectives on Power and Equity in Community-Based Participatory Action Research Projects 184
Index 199