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    Towards reflexive practice: engaging participants as co-researchers or co-analysts in psychological inquiry

    Smith, Jonathan A. (1994) Towards reflexive practice: engaging participants as co-researchers or co-analysts in psychological inquiry. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology 4 (4), pp. 253-260. ISSN 1052-9284.

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    This paper considers some of the implications of reflexivity for the practice of psychological research. After a brief consideration of the theoretical background to a concern with reflexivity, the paper goes on to examine how various researchers have attempted to incorporate components of reflexivity in their research practice. While a group of sociologists of science have operationalized reflexivity by self‐conscious concern for their own role in the construction of social—scientific knowledge, new paradigm co‐operative inquirers interpret a need for reflexivity by including their participants as fully self‐reflexive co‐researchers. Mulkay's suggestion for a dialogic analytical exchange with one's participants is also considered. The second half of the paper illustrates an attempt at reflexive practice in the authors' own research. This was a project concerned with identity change during the transition to motherhood, and aimed to allow the women a strong hand in helping to shape the project's direction. Preliminary analysis of a woman's data was taken back to her for her comments, and her reflections on the data were incorporated in the final case study. A detailed example of the investigator and participant's discussion of a piece of data is provided.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 10:37
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


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