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Sensing the other: the catch of the surrendering self


Robinson, C, Sensing the other: the catch of the surrendering self, Qualitative Research Journal, 2, (2) pp. 3-15. ISSN 1443-9883 (2002) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2002 Qualitative Research Journal

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In trying to make sense of my experiences of doing research on young home(less) people in Sydney, I have become increasingly frustrated with methodological work in which I can find little acknowledgment of the intense complicity of relations of self and other. In this paper, I revisit the žwriting cultureÓ debates in an attempt to identify or žquiltÓ (Saukko, 2000) a methodological approach which draws on the embodied actuality of ethnography and also questions the assumed selfhood and authority invested and guarded in the concept of the žself-reflexiveÓ researcher. I question the boundaries of self and other as they are upheld in much qualitative writing and consider the impact on methodology of taking poststructural epistemology and ontology seriously. In terms of my work with home(less) young people, this means a consideration of how relations with young people were negotiated through both partially locating and žforgettingÓ myself. Through WolffŪs notion of žsurrender and catchÓ I bring together practical aspects of being with young people and a theoretical/methodological approach which both uses and undoes the body/self in the moment of the field. In understanding the body/self as the žfieldÓ through which my negotiations with young home(less) people took place, I dis-locate the notion of a clearly separated, researched žotherÓ; I explore the consequences of this approach both in terms of the way in which research is conducted and imagined or represented.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:qualitative research, ethnography, youth homelessness
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociological methodology and research methods
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Robinson, C (Associate Professor Catherine Robinson)
ID Code:149814
Year Published:2002
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2022-04-14
Last Modified:2022-05-25

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