Intersectional Emotionality - Re-thinking Reflexivity within Research Practices & Training in Academia

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


On-going debates within feminist and social science research are increasingly highlighting the need for reflexive scholarship (particularly within qualitative research) – both in terms of considering the emotionality of the research process (Brownlie 2014, Burkitt 2012, Doucet 2008, Holland 2005, Mauthner and Doucet 2003) and in terms of applying an intersectional lens and discussing researchers’ social positioning and its effect on research practices (Calafell 2011, Hulko 2009, Jones 2010). Whilst these are significant developments, something is still lacking, namely: a bringing together of the concepts intersectionality and emotionality to better understand the reflexive process and context of research practices in academia. Using my own experiences as a researcher going through studies and training and conducting my own research on contraceptive experiences and attitudes as points of departure, this paper argues that: 1. the ways and academic environment in which we are currently trained as budding researchers is informed by narrow ideas of who the researcher and researched is, which, 2. produces an insufficient conceptualisation of reflexivity and reflexive scholarship. In order to show this, I will unpack some encounters I have had with peers, teachers and researchers during my research studies in both Scotland and Sweden. In doing so, this paper shines a light on a perspective that often goes unacknowledged, that is: that of an under/graduate student and junior researcher. Finally, with this paper I want to contribute to ongoing critical feminist debates on reflexive scholarship by suggesting that reflexivity might best be considered as an amalgamation of intersectionality and emotionality. In doing so, I discuss how to conceptualise reflexivity; how emotionally reflexive approaches lack intersectional analysis; the difficulty of attempting to engage more reflexively with one’s research in current academia; and finally, whether embracing the discomforts of research (Hulko 2009, Jones 2010, Pillow 2003) is an appropriate method of understanding and practising reflexivity as intersectional emotionality.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 14
Publication categoryResearch
EventNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference - Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 2019 Jun 132019 Jun 14


ConferenceNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference
Abbreviated titleNordic STS Conference
Internet address