Interviewing Mothers: Reflections on closeness and reflexivity in research encounters

Abstract

Taking as a starting point the idea that a researcher's subjectivity is data and a resource for interpretation, I write about my own experience of combining motherhood and paid work, undertaking a psychosocial study of first time motherhood. I reflect on the emotional work involved in undertaking fieldwork and engaging with different texts about the maternal, when the research topic is close to the stuff of one's life. I then set this writing and the feelings it evokes alongside a case study from the research project, in order to explore how a researcher can notice herself, in research encounters with others, and with texts, in ways which make the reflexive self visible. The data I use are drawn from a project entitled Becoming Bangladeshi, African Caribbean and White mothers: identities in process, part of the Economic and Social Research Council's Identities and Social Action programme.

How to Cite

Elliott H., (2011) “Interviewing Mothers: Reflections on closeness and reflexivity in research encounters”, Studies in the Maternal 3(1). p.1-20. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/sim.71

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Heather Elliott ( )

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