Researcher identity, legitimacy and power: Reflections from the field

17 June 2009, 4.00 PM - 17 June 2009, 4.00 PM

Frances Giampapa presents a seminar

Organised by Centre for Research On Language and Education (CREOLE)

Speaker: Frances Giampapa

Room 313, 35 Berkeley Square, BS8 1JA. 16.00 - 18.00pm

Framed within a post-modern discourse, this presentation focuses on the
methodological issues tied to notions of researcher identity legitimacy
and power in conducting a critical ethnography (Giampapa 2004) that
explored the discursive struggles for Italian Canadian youth to be and
become Italian Canadian across the Italian Canadian world in Toronto.
A critical ethnography requires the researcher to enter a dialogic
relationship with participants. As a result researcher-participant
relationship is recast where researcher legitimacy and power relations
(i.e., how the researcher positions and is positioned by participants in
the research) become a central part of the research process.
I draw from data from my research to show how macro-discourses of
legitimacy and power played out at the level of micro-interactions with
participants where the researcher engaged her own identities, linguistic
ideologies, and multiple roles and positionings within the research
process, and how participants’ discourses of italianità positioned the
researcher. These discourses had a direct impact on the researcher’s
role and access to the discursive spaces of italianità and across the
Italian Canadian world.


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