For insider-researchers engaged in qualitative inquiry, positionality and researcher neutrality are major concerns. Based on a study of human rights in social work practice among asylum seekers in a public institutional setting, this article highlights the insider-researcher status where the researcher was also a practitioner in the setting. Specifically, the author discusses the insider-researcher’s positionality towards knowledge of the population served, knowledge of the setting and knowledge of the research process by examining both the advantages and limitations of being an insider-researcher, as well as highlights ways to address and overcome these limitations.


Insider-Researcher, Activism, Social Work Practice, Public Institutions, Positionality

Author Bio(s)

Grace Chammas is a professor in social work at the Université du Québec in Outaouais. Her research focuses on public institutional social work practice among asylum seekers. Correspondence can be addressed directly to: grace.chammas@uqo.ca.

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Creative Commons License

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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