“So, it is about how negative it is?!” Understanding researcher/researched interactions as relations between intersectional social positions

  • Sune Qvotrup Jensen

Abstract

The article argues that interactions in qualitative interviews and ethnography can be analyzed as relations between intersectional social positions. It draws attention to the importance of class and geographical location in such analysis. It further argues that such interactions work through typifications, that they have a power dimension and that they entail processes of identity formation. The identities being offered through these processes can, however, be negotiated or resisted. The article then analyses such interactions as they were experienced in two research projects the author participated in: His PhD project about young marginalized ethnic minority men, and the collective project INTERLOC which focused on the interplay between gender, class, ethnicity and ‘race’ in an underprivileged Danish suburb. It is demonstrated that relationality influences the assumptions research participants have about the researcher. It is also demonstrated that the research encounter entails powerful mechanism of identity formation. The informants, however, sometimes resist these processes resulting in blurred and unstable, sometimes antagonistic, power relations. It is finally argued that analyses of such interactions can provide central insight into the subject studied.
Published
2012-09-11
How to Cite
Jensen, S. (2012). “So, it is about how negative it is?!” Understanding researcher/researched interactions as relations between intersectional social positions. Qualitative Studies, 3(2), 115-132. https://doi.org/10.7146/qs.v3i2.7304
Section
Articles in English