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This paper draws explicitly on the field experiences of two doctoral researchers in geography to elucidate some of the challenges and issues related to researcher vulnerability that are especially acute for graduate students. In spite of significant differences in context, both researchers experienced an unanticipated degree of professional vulnerability during their doctoral fieldwork that warrants further exploration, including a theoretical interrogation of the complex (and shifting) terrain of power relations within qualitative research projects. This paper addresses the lacuna in the qualitative methodological research literature on the topic of researcher vulnerability (in contrast to the well-developed discussion of participant vulnerability). Throughout, the authors suggest possible strategies for mitigating researcher vulnerability while protecting the overall integrity of the research process.
Researcher Vulnerability, Doctoral Fieldwork, Qualitative Research, and Power Relations in Research
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Recommended APA Citation
Ballamingie, P., & Johnson, S. (2011). The Vulnerable Researcher: Some Unanticipated Challenges of Doctoral Fieldwork. The Qualitative Report, 16(3), 711-729. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2011.1084
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