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A Neglected Methodological Debate: Power Relations between Key Informants and Researchers

Farsakoglu, Eda LU (2012) European Sociological Association (ESA) Mid-Term Conference on Qualitative Methodology and Methods, 2012
Abstract
Although qualitative research has brought to discussion a range of methodological issues that are concerned with the complexity of the relationship between researchers and participants in various research areas and sites, it has not adequately addressed the issue of power relations between key informants (gatekeepers) and the researcher. Building upon a limited but enlarging methodological literature, this paper explores the complexity of the relationship between key informants and the researcher by focusing hierarchical social divisions that the researcher and key informants are situated in. On this basis, the key issues of the paper are representation, identity, rapport/friction, and accountability. In doing so, I aim to contribute to... (More)
Although qualitative research has brought to discussion a range of methodological issues that are concerned with the complexity of the relationship between researchers and participants in various research areas and sites, it has not adequately addressed the issue of power relations between key informants (gatekeepers) and the researcher. Building upon a limited but enlarging methodological literature, this paper explores the complexity of the relationship between key informants and the researcher by focusing hierarchical social divisions that the researcher and key informants are situated in. On this basis, the key issues of the paper are representation, identity, rapport/friction, and accountability. In doing so, I aim to contribute to the methodological literature by going beyond the current debates on the practical challenges of entering the field. Drawing on examples from my own research experiences as a young, middle class, `diasporic` Turkish woman conducting fieldwork in Turkey in the areas of social movements and migration, I suggest that analyzing the complex relationship between the researcher and key informants gives us insights how such complexity may alter the research process and even affect the research findings. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
sociology, sociologi
conference name
European Sociological Association (ESA) Mid-Term Conference on Qualitative Methodology and Methods, 2012
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5eb84171-b185-4e45-b7e0-7c18093d1dea (old id 3242220)
date added to LUP
2012-12-20 07:45:20
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:44:35
@misc{5eb84171-b185-4e45-b7e0-7c18093d1dea,
  abstract     = {Although qualitative research has brought to discussion a range of methodological issues that are concerned with the complexity of the relationship between researchers and participants in various research areas and sites, it has not adequately addressed the issue of power relations between key informants (gatekeepers) and the researcher. Building upon a limited but enlarging methodological literature, this paper explores the complexity of the relationship between key informants and the researcher by focusing hierarchical social divisions that the researcher and key informants are situated in. On this basis, the key issues of the paper are representation, identity, rapport/friction, and accountability. In doing so, I aim to contribute to the methodological literature by going beyond the current debates on the practical challenges of entering the field. Drawing on examples from my own research experiences as a young, middle class, `diasporic` Turkish woman conducting fieldwork in Turkey in the areas of social movements and migration, I suggest that analyzing the complex relationship between the researcher and key informants gives us insights how such complexity may alter the research process and even affect the research findings.},
  author       = {Farsakoglu, Eda},
  keyword      = {sociology,sociologi},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {A Neglected Methodological Debate: Power Relations between Key Informants and Researchers},
  year         = {2012},
}