Reflecting on the researcher’s position is crucial for understanding how data are gathered, analyzed, and presented. However, researcher positionality is often reckoned through overly deterministic and rigid social statuses. This is problematic, as intertwined everyday practices of researchers’ living and doing fieldwork are diverse and messy. By reflecting on ethnographic research in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of the Russo-Ukrainian war, we elaborate an alternative way to speak of and identify the researcher’s position. Using the concept of “entanglement,” we describe how researchers’ everyday practices together with large-scale events, researchers’ social statuses, personal lives, and mundane contingencies, co-produce researchers’ positionality at all stages of the research. We also provide recommendations on how to incorporate such an “entangled positionality” into methodological and epistemological aspects of social research.


positionality, everyday research practices, ethnography, entanglement, entangled positionality

Author Bio(s)

Vlas Nikulkin (f. Artūrs Hoļavins) is a postdoctoral researcher at the Health, Ethics and Society Department, Care and Public Health Institute, Maastricht University. He is a social scientist with an interest in public participation in care, health care, and social policies. Please direct correspondence to a.nikulkins@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Olga Zvonareva is an assistant professor at the Health, Ethics and Society Department, Care and Public Health Institute, Maastricht University. Her scientific interests cover the intersection of health, critical social science, and science and technology studies' approach to public participation.

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