Other Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
O'Keeffe, S.
The Interview and Social Relations: Exploring How Gender Shapes the Research Process
Optional Fields
Gender; Democratic Research Design; Feminist Research
This case study is written for undergraduates around the world. Ideas are unpacked, contextualised and explained in sufficient detail for the readership.
Despite the flourishing literature in the field of gender, there have been few attempts to consider gender differences through a methodological lens. In fact, the inclusion of gender as a contextual value is not yet accepted by the majority of mainstream researchers in the scientific and social sciences. This case study sheds light on lessons learned from the experiences of a novice female researcher engaging in interviews with 11 Irish male teachers. Three rounds of interviews were conducted, which will be discussed in relation to relationship-building and collaboration. Although the conduct of interviewing can seem deceptively simple, each is an encounter that is infused with social-class and gendered relations. This case study explores gender in relation to bodily displays of status and social distinction. It advocates the benefits of a feminist approach to interviewing when studying those who are unlike “Us.” The case study explores how gender differences influence interview questions and will advocate the benefits of reflective and interactive research designs. The case study concludes with a recommendation for future democratic research designs, which focuses on the methodological benefits of placing participants’ voices at the heart of future inquiry. The goal of this case study is to offer an honest disclosure of personal experiences of how gender shapes the research process. It aims to provide postgraduate students with an authentic account of the possibilities and challenges in building democratic research designs with the male participants.
Part 2
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