Intimate relationships can serve as catalysts impelling us to deeply interact with others, and, consequently helping us to develop a greater understanding of ourselves, those with whom we come into contact, and the wider world. This manuscript describes the challenges and constraints I faced when engaged in qualitative research with an intimate other. I borrow from Dr. Carolyn Ellis’ (2007) concept of relational ethics, which requires researchers to: (a) act from their hearts and minds, (b) acknowledge interpersonal bonds to others, and (c) take responsibility for actions and their consequences. Power is a part of intimate relationships, so exploring and discussing power issues is critical in developing a solid research design and research processes when we involve intimate others, not to mention a solid baseline for a familial relationship. In this manuscript, I share methods I developed to interrogate my own awareness of my situated power/authority.


Intimacy, Relational Ethics, Dialogic Storytelling, Power, Intimate Others

Author Bio(s)

Kathleen M. Alley is an assistant professor of Literacy in the Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education Department at Mississippi State University. Dr. Alley’s research explores youth’s literate and social practices, and the environments that sustain literacy and motivation growth within school and informal, out-of-school contexts. Her interests include writing pedagogy, children’s and adolescent literature, technology integration, and teacher preparation in rural contexts. Prior to accepting her position at Mississippi State University, Dr. Alley was a Florida educator for 27 years. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kalley@colled.msstate.edu.


I thank my major professor, Dr. Jim King, for his guidance and friendship.

Publication Date


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





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