Whether approached from a positivist perspective or a more comprehensive postpositivist theoretical and philosophical grounding, the relationship between researcher and participant entails the strong binary opposition of the I-Thou (Buber, 1971) or Self and Other (Bhabha, 2004) within which I or Self is associated with the researcher and Thou or Other represents the research subject. The goal of this paper is to offer an overview of the various theoretical and ethodological approaches to the researcher-participant relationship in qualitative research. The author will first explore how traditional qualitative and emancipatory feminist research have addressed this issue, then she will investigate how poststructural feminists such as Butler (1992), Lather (1991), Pillow (2003), St. Pierre (2000), and Spivak (1993), as well as Wisweswaran (1994), mainly through the use of the notion of subjectivity and voice, stepped into the debate and explored the researcher-participant relationship from a poststructuralist perspective.
Other, Representation, Emancipatory Feminist Research, Poststructural Feminism, Subjectivity
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Recommended APA Citation
Varga-Dobai, K. (2012). The Relationship of Researcher and Participant in Qualitative Inquiry: From “Self and Other” Binaries to the Poststructural Feminist Perspective of Subjectivity. The Qualitative Report, 17(47), 1-17. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol17/iss47/1