To be or not to be – ‘insider/outsider positionality’: Methodological challenges in researching a group of Iraqi Kurdish migrants in the UK

Conference paper


Mahmud, C. 2023. To be or not to be – ‘insider/outsider positionality’: Methodological challenges in researching a group of Iraqi Kurdish migrants in the UK.
AuthorsMahmud, C.
TypeConference paper
Description

The relationship between the researcher(s), the research, and the research participants has been a recurrent concern in the methodology literature. The researcher's role is highly debated in qualitative research (Adler & Adler, 2003; Fleming, 2018). However, new research around the researcher positionality and its influence on the research process is necessary to guide new researchers about the importance of the researcher positionality in investigating one’s own community.

Aims:
This paper brings reflexivity into conversation with debates about positionality in researching migrants and marginalised communities. It sought to highlight the researcher’s positionality by asking:
a) What it means to be an insider or/and outsider researcher, and

b) How the researcher’s status and identity are negotiated and navigated throughout the research processes.

Methodology:
Multimodal data collection methods, including ethnography, interviews, photovoice, and corpus of material objects, were used in researching the lived experiences of a group of Iraqi Kurdish migrants in the UK. In this paper, the researcher reflects on her experiences, highlighting her position while investigating her community using the ‘reflexive turn’ from planning to disseminating the data (Benson & O’Reilly, 2020).

Results:
Exploring one’s own community tends to be a challenging endeavour. The researcher’s intersectional positionality regarding her cultural background, educational level, age, gender, and profession has established a flexible and evolving role, resulting in establishing an in-between identity - inside and out.

Conclusion:
This paper provides valuable insights for researchers conducting research within migrant communities and intercultural settings, whether as an insider or an outsider. In addition, this study also contributes to the methodology literature in Kurdish studies.

KeywordsQualitative research; Insider; Outsider; In-between researcher; Migrant communities
Year2023
ConferenceApproaches to Migration, Language, and Identity 2023
Related URLhttps://sites.google.com/view/amli2023/
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Deposited05 Oct 2023
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/95z59/to-be-or-not-to-be-insider-outsider-positionality-methodological-challenges-in-researching-a-group-of-iraqi-kurdish-migrants-in-the-uk

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