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Doing Ethnographic Research in Chinese Families: Reflections on Methodological Concerns from Two Asian Cities

Goh, Esther Chor Leng and Göransson, Kristina LU (2011) In International Journal of Qualitative Methods 10(3). p.265-281
Abstract
This paper compares and contrasts the ethnographic practices of two non-native researchers – a Singaporean researcher studying families in mainland China and a Swedish researcher studying Chinese families in Singapore. A novel conceptual frame of ‘radius of observation positions’ has been proposed to explicate the extent of intrusion and intimacy to which researchers may venture in the private family domain. The opportunities and challenges of two positions of observation within this radius are discussed. The choice of position is largely influenced by the interacting forces of the contextual and cultural factors as well as the personhood of the researcher. The authors call for special attention to cultural sensitivity in conducting... (More)
This paper compares and contrasts the ethnographic practices of two non-native researchers – a Singaporean researcher studying families in mainland China and a Swedish researcher studying Chinese families in Singapore. A novel conceptual frame of ‘radius of observation positions’ has been proposed to explicate the extent of intrusion and intimacy to which researchers may venture in the private family domain. The opportunities and challenges of two positions of observation within this radius are discussed. The choice of position is largely influenced by the interacting forces of the contextual and cultural factors as well as the personhood of the researcher. The authors call for special attention to cultural sensitivity in conducting Chinese family research. Families are embedded in culture, and the possibility of accessing family spaces hinges on one’s awareness of the intricacies of family cultures and realistic assessment of one’s strengths and limitations in handling complex family dynamics. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
ethnography, fieldwork, observations, the use of self, Chinese family, Chinese culture, qualitative family research
in
International Journal of Qualitative Methods
volume
10
issue
3
pages
265 - 281
publisher
Universtity of Alberta
ISSN
1609-4069
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
959bf7e1-902b-4fda-b3ef-c8de0ce22171 (old id 2167774)
date added to LUP
2011-10-03 09:15:43
date last changed
2016-04-16 01:26:39
@article{959bf7e1-902b-4fda-b3ef-c8de0ce22171,
  abstract     = {This paper compares and contrasts the ethnographic practices of two non-native researchers – a Singaporean researcher studying families in mainland China and a Swedish researcher studying Chinese families in Singapore. A novel conceptual frame of ‘radius of observation positions’ has been proposed to explicate the extent of intrusion and intimacy to which researchers may venture in the private family domain. The opportunities and challenges of two positions of observation within this radius are discussed. The choice of position is largely influenced by the interacting forces of the contextual and cultural factors as well as the personhood of the researcher. The authors call for special attention to cultural sensitivity in conducting Chinese family research. Families are embedded in culture, and the possibility of accessing family spaces hinges on one’s awareness of the intricacies of family cultures and realistic assessment of one’s strengths and limitations in handling complex family dynamics.},
  author       = {Goh, Esther Chor Leng and Göransson, Kristina},
  issn         = {1609-4069},
  keyword      = {ethnography,fieldwork,observations,the use of self,Chinese family,Chinese culture,qualitative family research},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {265--281},
  publisher    = {Universtity of Alberta},
  series       = {International Journal of Qualitative Methods},
  title        = {Doing Ethnographic Research in Chinese Families: Reflections on Methodological Concerns from Two Asian Cities},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2011},
}