Researching retired ex-servicemen: reflections on ethnographic encounters

Journal article


Williams, R., Allen-Collinson, J. and Hockey, J. 2020. Researching retired ex-servicemen: reflections on ethnographic encounters. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health.
AuthorsWilliams, R., Allen-Collinson, J. and Hockey, J.
Abstract

The opportunities and challenges that younger, female, civilian researchers can encounter when undertaking ethnographic research with predominantly male military veterans are relatively underexplored sociologically. This is despite a growing literature on reflexivity in military studies over the past decade. To address this gap, we draw on symbolic interactionist insights to examine the reflective account of a British, female researcher in her mid-20s, who conducted qualitative research with 20 ‘older’ (aged 60+) retired servicemen from the Royal British Legion, a United Kingdom charity providing support for military veterans and their families. The study explored ex-servicemen’s embodied experiences of physical activity. The findings presented here cohere around four salient themes identified in the ethnographic reflections: (1) researcher positionality as a young, female, civilian researcher in a traditionally masculine militarised world; (2) managing distressing topics and interactional discomfort; (3) maintaining an ‘ethic of care’; and (4) dilemmas regarding representational issues and ex-servicemen’s embodied experiences.

Keywords Sociology; ethnographic reflections; retired servicemen; symbolic interactionism; bracketing
Year2020
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/2159676X.2020.1713204
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2020.1713204
Publication dates
Print15 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted06 Jan 2020
Deposited26 Feb 2020
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8qx1q/researching-retired-ex-servicemen-reflections-on-ethnographic-encounters

Accepted author manuscript

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