On Becoming a Qualitative Researcher: The Value of Reflexivity

July 24, 2007

Learning how to conduct qualitative research may seem daunting for those new to the task, especially given the paradigm’s emphasis on complexity and emergent design. Although there are guidelines in the literature, each project is unique and ultimately the individual researcher must determine how best to proceed. Reflexivity is thus considered essential, potentially facilitating understanding of both the phenomenon under study and the research process itself. Drawing upon the contents of a reflective journal, the author provides an inside view of a first project, making connections between theory and practice. This personal narrative highlights the value of reflexivity both during and after a study, and may help to demystify the research process for those new to the field.

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