Speed bumps, stop signs and diversions: Emotions in research

Greenwood, S. (2019) Speed bumps, stop signs and diversions: Emotions in research. British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019, Glasgow, UK, 24-26 Apr 2019. (Unpublished)

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Denzin (1984: x) explained that emotions occupy a place “at the intersection of the person and society”, and as such, “to be human is to be emotional”. Emotions pervade our personal and professional lives; thus, arguably, are unavoidable within research. However – the extent to which emotions are acknowledged by researchers varies widely, and often the decision to account for the role of our emotions falls along disciplinary lines, with much of the literature emerging from the feminist canon (Watts, 2008). The dominance of feminist commentary on this relates to the ideological values related to feminism – namely, the importance of experience in the construction of knowledge, and “the impossibility of the Cartesian rationalist project which set up the dualisms on which much of western thought has been based—the separation of mind from body, nature from culture, reason from emotion and the public from the private” (Holland, 2007: 196). My doctoral research explored the lived experience of young adults (aged 16 to 30) affected by parental substance use – something that I was personally affected by growing up. This paper shares an autobiographical account of my relationship to the research, where I discuss the issues faced during the process. In particular, I discuss the difficult decisions made in relation to my position as a researcher – to my data, my participants, and my past. This paper concludes by emphasising the positive impact that ‘emotionalising’ our work can have in challenging dominant hierarchies that continue to oppress marginalised groups in society.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Greenwood, Dr Sharon
Authors: Greenwood, S.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies

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