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Abstract

Researchers often focus on the content of their research interests but, depending on the research approach, may pay less attention to the process of locating themselves in relation to the research topic. This paper outlines the dialogue between an interdisciplinary team of researchers who were at the initial stages of forming a research agenda related to weight bias and social justice. Using a polyethnographic approach to guide our discussion, we sought to explore the diverse and common life experiences that influenced our professional interests for pursuing research on weight bias. As a dialogic method, polyethnography is ideally suited for the reflexive work required of researchers seeking to address issues of equity and social justice. Beyond more traditional approaches such as journaling, personal interviews, or researcher notes, the intersubjectivity highlighted by this method affords a richer space for exploration, challenging ideas, taking risks, and collectively interrogating both self and society. Following a discussion of positionality, the dialogue between researchers is presented, followed by their critique of the discussion, informed by professional literature.

Keywords

Polyethnography, Ethnography, Weight Bias, Positionality

Author Bio(s)

Nancy Arthur is a Professor and Associate Dean Research, Werklund School of Education, with research interests in professional education for diversity and social justice, international learning and employment transitions, and career development. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: narthur@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Darren E. Lund is a Professor in the Werklund School of Education, with research interests in social justice pedagogy and activism, and professional education through community-engaged learning. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dlund@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew is an Associate Professor and Werklund Research Professor in the Counselling Psychology Program, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, with research interest in weight-related issues. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: mkrussel@ucalgary.ca.

Sarah Nutter is a doctoral student in the Counselling Psychology Program, Werklund School of Education, with research interests in stigma, weight bias, and social justice. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: snutter@ucalgary.ca.

Emily William is a graduate student in the MSc. degree program in Counselling Psychology, Werklund School of Education, with research interests in eating disorders and stigma. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: emily.williams@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Monica Sesma is a former Post-doctoral Scholar and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, with research interests in mental illness stigma, family studies and family therapy. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: mesesmava@ucalgary.ca.

Dr. Anusha Kassan is an Assistant Professor in Counselling Psychology, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, with research interests informed by her own bicultural identity, including multicultural counselling, migration, as well as training and supervision. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: anusha.kassan@ucalgary.ca.

Acknowledgements

Funding for research associated with this article was provided by the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary.

Publication Date

5-20-2017

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

 

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