As researchers’ identities impact the research process, researchers need to take a reflexive stance toward their positionality in the research. The issue of positionality is especially important for research focusing on multicultural issues, which necessarily involves dynamic power relations among different racial/ethnic groups. Drawing from reflections on my research focusing on South Korean adolescents’ understandings of migrants, this paper illustrates when and how I confronted my positionality. My positionality as a racial/ethnic minority in the United States affected the process of selecting the research topic and the theoretical framework as well as analyzing interview data while my positionality as an ethnic Korean was salient when making interview questions, interviewing ethnic Korean adolescents, and reporting the findings. There was also a moment in which my identity as an international student from the United States outweighed my ethnic/racial identity during interviews. By sharing my experiences in conducting transnational research in my home country, this paper attempts to contribute to underrepresented discourse on the use of reflexivity in non-Western societies, especially when neither the researcher nor the researched is White.


Positionality, Subjectivity, Reflexivity, Multicultural Studies, Transnational Research

Author Bio(s)

Jiyoung Kang is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University. Her research interest is in multicultural education, qualitative research, students' understandings, and curriculum studies. Please direct correspondence to kangjiy@iu.edu.

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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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