Authored by: Adriana Patiño-Santos

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Ethnography

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138938168
eBook ISBN: 9781315675824
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the concept of reflexivity, that is, the need to recognise the role of the researcher’s subjectivity as part of the research. It argues that this acknowledgement of the importance of researcher subjectivity is a key aspect of linguistic ethnographic research, which needs to be constantly monitored, and which should inform epistemological, methodological and analytical decisions throughout the research process. Attention to reflexivity highlights the importance of personal histories, practical contingencies and social relations in fieldwork. The chapter provides an overview of the historical development of reflections on methodological reflexivity in sociolinguistics, and how these have been informed by broader developments in the social sciences. It addresses key debates around reflexivity including consideration of the position of power of the researcher in constructing and representing the voices of research participants, and the balance that needs to be struck between researcher’s and others’ voices. It reviews a range of current studies as examples of reflexive accounts. The implications of a focus on reflexivity for research practice are illustrated with reference to a detailed account of the writer’s own experiences of research in a Catalan language classroom.

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