Book Chapter

Reflexivity in team ethnography: Using researcher vignettes


Creese A, Takhi JK & Blackledge A (2016) Reflexivity in team ethnography: Using researcher vignettes. In: Martin-Jones M & Martin D (eds.) Researching Multilingualism: Critical and ethnographic perspectives. London: Taylor & Francis, pp. 203-214.

We conduct our ethnographic research in multilingual teams, using a multisited and contrasting case-study approach in which pairs of researchers conduct observations and engage in research in the same context at the same time. We have found that working in an ethnographic team has enabled us to move beyond the unitary point of view of the lone researcher, working instead with coexisting, and sometimes competing, points of view. Reflexivity is a crucial dimension of team ethnography, and we have argued that collective critical reflexivity leads to a rich interpretive process (Creese & Blackledge, 2012). According to Eisenhart, collaborative approaches involve “more different kinds of people” (2001: 219) in designing the research process and creating the final product, and require researchers to disclose more about their own views, commitments, and social positions. Such approaches make clearer “the social position, cultural perspective and political stance” (Eisenhart, 2001: 219) of the researcher and how these influence subsequent actions. A further dimension of ethnographic team research is its affordance of multi-site ethnographic investigation, which enables us to examine mobilities and linkages and helps get at the nature of contemporary social, economic, and political processes (Heller, 2011). Bourdieu argued that in working in ethnographic teams we must “relinquish the single, central, dominant, in a word, quasi-divine, point of view that is all too easily adopted by observers … we must work instead with the multiple perspectives that correspond to the multiplicity of coexisting, and sometimes directly competing, points of view” (1999: 3).

education; language & literature;

Researching Multilingualism: Critical and Ethnographic Perspectives

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online10/11/2016
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of publicationLondon