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Researcher positioning: Muslim otherness and beyond

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  • Subjektivering, Køn og Diversitet
  • Department of Learning
  • Research Programme in Diversity and Learning

This article focuses on the complex and multi-layered process of researcher positioning, specifically in relation to the politically sensitive study of marginalised and ‘othered' groups such as Muslims living in Denmark. We discuss the impact of different ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds, of membership in a minoritised[i] or majoritised group, and the influence of different theoretical and methodological outlooks on our common goal of trying to transcend existing othering and objectifying representations of Muslims in Western societies. This process sometimes entails a direct political and personal involvement by the researcher, which challenges traditional perspectives on research and researcher positioning. A key point in this regard is the importance of constant awareness of and reflection on the multiple ways in which one's positioning as a researcher influences the research process. Studying the other calls for close reflections on one's own position, theoretically, personally, and politically, taking into account one's complicity in either overcoming or reproducing processes of othering and marginalisation.

[i] We use the term (ethnic) minoritised, not as a distinction with numerical proportions, but rather related to societal power relations (Phoenix 2001, p. 128).

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Pages (from-to)28-45
Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • researcher positioning, young Muslims, other ethnicity, critical psychology, social practice theory, social constructionism, poststructuralism, social work, Beyond the neutral researcher, academic binaries, bande, kriminalitet , gang desistance, crime prevention, street gangs, community based intervention

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