Volume 12, No. 2, Art. 13 – May 2011

Researcher Interjecting in Qualitative Race Research

Lauren Mizock, Debra Harkins & Renee Morant

Abstract: In qualitative interviews, moments when the researcher departs from the research script can highlight how researcher-participant race interactions may differentially affect results. In the present study, 40 qualitative interviews between Black- and White-identified researchers and participants were analyzed to assess the influence of researcher race in deviations from the interview script. Excerpts from these mono-racial and cross-racial research dyads are presented to highlight the function and value of researcher interjecting in multicultural research. Suggestions and implications for future qualitative research on issues of race, ethnicity, and culture are delineated.

Key words: researcher race; experimenter effects; multicultural research; qualitative

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Methodology with marginalized groups

1.2 Semi-structured interview methodology

1.3 Role of researcher race

2. Method

3. Results

3.1 Black researcher-Black participant interjections

3.2 White researcher-Black participant interjections

3.3 Black researcher-White participant interjections

3.4 White researcher-White participant Interjections

4. Discussion

Note

References

Authors

Citation

 

1. Introduction

Positivist schools of thought on qualitative methodology have proposed that deviations from the research script can harm data quality (MOFFATT, GEORGE, LEE & McGRATH, 2005; ONGENA & DIJKSTRA, 2007). Research scripts are developed prior to a research interview to guide a structured gathering of data, with variation according to complexity and strength (i.e., flexibility) of the interview structure (SCHAU, DELLANDE & GILLY, 2007). Script subversions, or "breaches" that diverge from the research script are believed to bias the participant's response and skew the data produced (GARFINKEL, 1967; ONGENA & DIJKSTRA, 2007; SCHAU et al., 2007). [1]

However, deviation from the research script can have beneficial outcomes (HUBER, HUBER & CLANDININ, 2004; MISHLER, 1991; SCHAU et al., 2007). Breaches in research script may increase communication effectiveness and quality, particularly when multicultural issues of oppression and resistance are of focus (SCHAU et al., 2007). Departing from the qualitative interview script may be necessary in order to fully answer the research question at hand, eliciting additional detail and complexity, and strengthening the rapport needed for a rich interview (MAY, 2008). These moments when the researcher departs from the interview script may, in fact, be critical for research dialogue and worthy of examination by the research team (HUBER et al., 2004; MISHLER, 1991). [2]

For example, acknowledging subjectivity on the part of the researcher may enable further understanding of power in the researcher-participant relationship (RILEY, SCHOUTEN & CAHILL, 2003). The development of a relationship between the researcher and participant may be inevitable and offer opportunities to highlight important aspects of the research topic (DRESSEL & LANGREITER, 2003). In fact, a research interview can be conceived of as a dialogic process in which meaning in constructed relationally (RUSSELL & KELLY, 2002). [3]

In the present study, qualitative interviews between different research dyads composed of Black- and White-identified researchers and participants were analyzed to assess the role of researcher race in deviations from the interview script. Excerpts from these interviews are presented to highlight the function and value of researcher interjecting—departures from the interview script by the researcher. These excerpts are analyzed for differences in script deviation depending on the race of researcher and participant. Suggestions and implications for future qualitative research on issues of race and ethnicity are proposed. [4]

1.1 Methodology with marginalized groups

When conducting multicultural research, a collaborative, flexible approach to research interviewing can be more effective in empowering participants from marginalized groups with multicultural backgrounds (MOFFATT et al., 2005; RAPPAPORT, 1995). In particular, researchers may be more likely to interject or make asides to highlight narratives of resistance that contest dominant, oppressive narratives (HUBER et al., 2004; RAPPAPORT, 1995). When conducting research with marginalized groups, researchers may decide to depart from the research script to provide more space for stories of oppression and resistance (HUBER et al., 2004; MOFFATT et al., 2005). [5]

In multicultural research, researcher interjecting may occur in a number of ways. The interviewer may offer words to give a name to the experience of oppression and acknowledge the social structures being experienced to enhance understanding (MOFFATT et al., 2005). In addition, researchers may disclose their biases and motivations for the research (RAMANATHAN, 2005). This self-disclosure may help the participant better understand the position of the researcher enhancing their ability to make judgments about the researcher's trustworthiness (MOFFATT et al., 2005). Researchers might emphasize parallel struggles in their own experiences with oppression or convey their intentions in the research study (SHERMAN, 2002; TREVILLON, 2000). The interviewer may identify ways in which race, class, ethnicity, and other aspects of social identity enter into the interview to enhance awareness of multicultural issues (RAMANATHAN, 2005). In addition, interviewers may make impromptu changes to the script based on previous interviews to enhance the quality of the research dialogue (CANNELL, MARQUIS & LAURENT, 1977; OLSON & PEYTCHEV, 2007; SINGER, FRANKEL & GLASSMAN, 1983). [6]

However, researcher interjecting and self-disclosure can also lead to risks (MIEHLS & MOFFATT, 2000; SLATTERY, 2001). By engaging their stories in the research interview, researchers may lose their focus on the personal experience of the participant (MOFFATT et al., 2005). Self-disclosure may fail to reduce power issues and sometimes enhance them, potentially re-committing disempowering dynamics (RAMANATHAN, 2005). Understanding researcher interjecting is important to minimize potential risks of qualitative race research. [7]

1.2 Semi-structured interview methodology

The semi-structured interview is a methodology well-suited for research dialogues regarding issues of race. Semi-structured interviews are qualitative research devices that include questions guided by several main topics with a structured protocol that is developed prior to the interview (JANSEN, 2010). Semi-structured research interviews can facilitate a more natural flow of conversation and allow researchers to draw from conversational resources that facilitate the dialogue (MAY, 2008; MISHLER, 1991). This research style emphasizes the meaning of the question rather than the wording, making the interview an interactive process (HOUTKOOP-STEENSTRA, 1996; MISHLER, 1991). The researcher engages the participant in more interaction and avoids mining the participants for facts (MOFFATT et al., 2005). Participants and researchers can ask additional questions in order to better understand research questions and responses, increasing the trust and rapport needed during sensitive discussions of race and oppression (MISHLER, 1991). In this methodology, off-script interaction between the researcher and participant is more common and likely to provide important information about the research transaction. [8]

1.3 Role of researcher race

A critical focus of qualitative research involves understanding the complexity of researcher role (RAMANATHAN, 2005). Specifically researcher race and ethnicity variables may interact with participant variables and data collected (ANDERSON, 1989; DAILY & CLAUS, 2001; SHERMAN, 2002; SPRINGMAN, WHERRY & NOTARO, 2006; THOMPSON, WORTHINGTON & ATKINSON, 1994; WHALEY, 2001). Matching researcher and participant race may increase comfort levels in the research and increase participant satisfaction and disclosure (SHERMAN, 2002; THOMPSON et al., 1994; WHALEY, 2001). However, matching the race of the researcher and participant does not guarantee quality of data or rapport in multicultural research (ANDERSON, 1989; DAILY & CLAUS, 2001; SPRINGMAN et al., 2006). Regardless of researcher and participant race, cultural sensitivity of the researcher builds a stronger research relationship (COX, 2004; EGHAREVBA, 2001; RIDLEY, 2005; TUHIWAI SMITH, 2005). Rarely neutral, researcher race often has a powerful effect on the data collected in multicultural research. [9]

2. Method

Forty undergraduates from a predominantly White northeastern university in the United States (3% Black, 59% White) took part in the qualitative interviews. Approval was granted by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the university prior to running the study. Participants self-identified their race and included 20 Black students (female = 13, male = 7) and 20 White students (female = 13, male = 7). Non-random sampling was used where participants were selected for the study based on self-identified race and student status at the university where the research was conducted. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with the 40 Black and White-identified participants, varied by racial identity of the Black or White-identified researcher. Researchers included 1 female Black researcher (RM) and 1 female White researcher (LM) to create 4 researcher-participant racial dyads: 1. 10 Black researcher-Black participant dyads, 2. 10 White researcher-Black participant dyads, 3. 10 Black researcher-White participant dyads, 4. 10 White researcher-White participant dyads, composing a total of 4 dyads and 40 interviews. While male researchers were not used in this study due to lack of availability, the research team agreed to keep gender constant in order to reduce threats to validity in this area. [10]

The Black researcher (RM) and White researcher (LM) recruited undergraduate participants for the study by building community ties with a campus diversity-oriented organization, contributing volunteer efforts to various projects of the organization in order to avoid a one-sided relationship. Participants were informed of the study's focus on the impact of race on the research process as well as issues of multicultural identity and oppression. Semi-structured interviews were conducted within a private research space in the university. The 3-part interviews lasted 30-60 minutes and covered topics of: 1. cultural identity, 2. racial identity, and 3. research recommendations. In this third and final stage of the research interview, participants were invited to reflect on the research interview they had participated in and make suggestions for future research in this area. In this semi-structured research methodology, researchers were permitted to deviate from the interview script to explore participant responses and build rapport. [11]

Audio recordings of the interviews were transcribed. Thematic analysis (ARONSON, 1994) of transcripts was conducted to identify recurring themes from transcripts. A multiracial research team, including the research interviewers, contributed to all stages of the research process, from the development of the research question to interpretation of the resulting interview data—an important approach to culturally competent research (COX, 2004; MOFFATT et al., 2005). [12]

In accordance with the thematic analysis approach (ARONSON, 1994), the research team read selections of the 40 transcripts and to identify patterns of themes within the overarching themes evoked by the research interview, including: racial and cultural identity, experiences with prejudice, and reflections on the research process. Data that was related to these themes was identified and coded into the related pattern. This data was categorized into sub-themes. From this group of sub-themes, several key themes were selected based on related literature in this area. The research team selected representative excerpts from the interviews within the various themes. These key themes were identified for individual publications and conference presentations (i.e., MIZOCK, HARKINS, RAY & MORANT, 2011). For the present theme of off-script comments, eight representative passages were selected. The following excerpts were selected to highlight ways in which researcher and participant race impacted researcher interjecting in qualitative interviews on race and oppression. [13]

3. Results

3.1 Black researcher-Black participant interjections

The off-script comments of the Black researcher generally functioned to further understanding of racism. With the Black participants in particular, her interjecting enhanced a sense of shared experience and understanding of racism. In conversing with a Black, Cape Verdean American female participant, she responded to a comment about her aunt's avoidance of cultural traditions.

Participant (P): Their mom – she's like, oh I don't feel the need to. We're not in Cape Verde anymore. We're in America.

Researcher (R): Mm hm. So she wants them to be kind of assimilated.

P: Yeah. They like, "Oh, why should we be teaching them about the Cape Verde culture? We're not there anymore. We're here." So now the kids come to Cape Verde and it's basically like every other person. We're not Cape Verdean. They don't know anything about the culture. [14]

In this excerpt, the Black researcher found herself attempting to name her experience. This participant appeared to be having negative feelings about her family's response to immigration. By offering the word, assimilated, the researcher provided a label for a process that many immigrant families experience. The researcher stepped out of a neutral role and emphasized the universality of this immigrant experience that many experience of developing a narrative around dealing with the challenges of integrating into another culture (KÜVER, 2009). [15]

In another excerpt, the Black researcher demonstrated her understanding of the experiences of a Black, Haitian American female participant who told the story of discrimination when ordering food in restaurants.

P: Like one time I walked into a Chinese restaurant and I had ordered. I had ordered, and he wouldn't take the order. And I was trying to tell him, but he was like, "Hold on, hold on." He kept walking away. And another person came in behind me. I think she ordered the same plate as me. He gave it to her before me. And I ordered, maybe ten minutes ago, the same plate, –

R: As you did.

P: – rice and chicken. And he gave her the rice chicken.

R: And he gave her your plate. Yeah. Yours came out later.

P: So, I ordered, and I ordered again, and then I left. And, whatever food they made just went to waste because I did not pay for it. Like I was so upset. Like that was so rude. So that's actually two events.

R: So that's – okay, I was going to say that's like several from the [Italian restaurant] where they were taken before you. And then the Chinese restaurant.

P: Yeah.

R: So that was someone of minority treating you –

P: Mm hm.

R: – discriminatorily.

P: Yeah. [16]

In this excerpt the researcher attempted to join in the participant's story by filling in her words. She felt this story was her story too—a story of internalized racism enacted between different people of color. The researcher experienced a departure from her role as interviewer and used conversational resources in this moment, as though conversing with a friend. She interrupted the story in order to share in the emotional burden of her story. Her identity as a researcher became less salient than her identity as a Black woman who had experienced the same discrimination, and recognized her story in the participant's story. The researcher found herself wanting to relieve her of the pain of having to convince her that racism is real. [17]

Common themes among researcher interjections in the Black researcher-Black participant dyads included comments from the Black researcher that tended to make interpretations to further understanding of racism. When speaking to Black participants, her comments enhanced sense of shared experience and understanding of racism. The researcher showed understanding of participant's experience of racism by filling in participant's sentences and supplying next phrase or experience to address the commonality of these incidents, strengthening the researcher-participant alliance. [18]

3.2 White researcher-Black participant interjections

In the stories of racism described by Black participants, the White researcher expressed validation and support that were not as present in the Black researcher's interviews. In other instances where Black participants appeared hesitant to make comments expressing mistrust of White Americans, the White researcher tended to validate their mistrust, as shown in this interview with a Black, bicultural, Haitian and Dominican American male participant who described his difficulty with his mother's comments regarding her mistrust of White Americans.

P: It just bugs me. It's just like, "Stop. You don't know these people," I always want to say.

R: Mm hm. I could understand – I mean, I have no experience, or no idea – but I could understand, you know, why she might have some mistrust towards White people given racism in society today.

P: Yeah.

R: And maybe some things that she might have heard about.

P: Yeah. [19]

This participant had described his close relationships with White Americans and the conflict he experienced when his mother would make cautionary statements about becoming friends with White Americans. As opposed to validating his conflicted feelings, she validated his mother's mistrust, partially out of wanting to make it permissible for the participant to make less positive statements regarding White Americans in her presence in the interview. The researcher attempted to validate and explain the development cultural mistrust in response to experiences of racism. [20]

Similarly, another researcher aside occurred when a Haitian American Black male participant struggled to pinpoint why he felt it was inappropriate for White Americans to use the n-word1), but less problematic when Black Americans use the word.

R: I was thinking sort of about the n-word thing that you were talking about – sort of the difference when a White person uses that word.

P: Yeah.

R: The different meaning that that would have.

P: Yeah.

R: The different history associated with White people –

P: Exactly. Yeah.

R: – saying that word. And what's going on now.

P: Right.

R: And what it means for a White person to use that word, and not acknowledge that history.

P: Yeah. I mean to tell you the truth that would be a great question to ask the White [participants] even more.

R: Definitely. [21]

The White researcher's comment attempted to validate the participant's instinct about the problems of White Americans using this word. The researcher highlighted the history of the derogatory use of the word, in contrast to the word-reclamation purposes used by Black Americans (KÜVER, 2009; LOW, 2007). This off-script comment heightened the different historical contexts of the word use and supported the participant's resistance to racism. This comment also facilitated dialogue and encouraged the participant's suggestion for future research topics on racism. [22]

The White researcher tended to make overt statements of support and validation towards Black participants in regards to experiences of racism. This tendency derived from her knowledge of the traumatic nature of racism and common denial among White Americans that racism continues to exist. At other times her departures from the research script made it permissible for the participant to put forth less positive statements regarding White Americans as well as to validate and acknowledge cultural mistrust that Black participants may have experienced. [23]

3.3 Black researcher-White participant interjections

In interjections with White participants, the Black researcher also worked to support cultural identity development. In the following exchange, a White, Irish American female participant described her pride in her heritage.

P: I'm very pro-Irish ...

R: You really identify with your roots ... A lot of White people say, "I don't know, I'm just White." Or, they'll say like maybe ten countries, and they don't really identify with any of them in particular. That's interesting that you're a little bit different in that way. [24]

In this moment, the Black researcher drew from her memories of previous White participants in the study and other White Americans she had encountered who did not identify with their ethnic roots. The researcher felt that minorities are often identified by their ethnic identity of origin (i.e., Egyptian) as opposed to nationality (i.e., American), and not allowed to claim the dominant identity of American or White. White Americans often have the privilege of being able to claim the identity of American without being asked to clarify or qualify their identity further (CUSHMAN, 1996). This exchange caused the Black researcher to remember the uncomfortable responses from White Americans to identifying as Black American, and the insistence that she claim a more "exotic" background. She remembered the feeling of not being allowed to be part of a dominant norm that is not asked to claim more than regional identity, or sometimes any identifier at all. [25]

Similarly, this researcher encouraged the awareness of the cultural identity of a White American participant whose sense of this aspect of herself was less clear for her, partially due to her parent's silence around specifying her European roots.

P: I just wish I could be like, "I'm this." But I can't.

R: Well, you did.

P: Sort of.

R: American is a culture.

P: Kind of.

R: If you went somewhere else you'd be really – have you traveled abroad at all?

P: No.

R: Okay. Well travel somewhere and you'll be able to see, "Yeah, I'm the American."

P: Yeah.

R: And you'll feel a connection to your culture. [26]

The Black researcher sensed the loss of culture for the White participant in this exchange. The participant spoke of a loss of identity that diminished her feelings of self-worth in her inability to positively identify with anything. While the participant gains the privilege of White racial identity (McINTOSH, 1989) and does not have to be identified by her ethnicity or race, she also experiences a loss of positive identification with a cultural identity. In remembering her own travels, she found her identity with American culture being called up, and wanted to offer her this as an experience to make salient her sense of culture that she was lacking awareness in. [27]

In the exchanges between the Black researcher and White participants, the researcher typically encouraged an awareness of the White participants' racial and cultural identity. The invisibility of the cultural background of White Americans and ignorance of the culture of others contributes to White privilege and the lack of awareness of racism (CUSHMAN, 1996). The researcher supported a sense of cultural identity in the White participants for this reason. She encouraged White participants to refrain from this passive approach to seeing their culture as normative or invisible. In this excerpt, the researcher's encouragement of the White participant's sense of cultural identity is evident, given the tendency of White Americans to disassociate with a particular culture (HELMS, 1992). [28]

3.4 White researcher-White participant Interjections

The White researcher tended to interject in interviews with White participants to enhance awareness of the issues of racism. In this excerpt, the White researcher speaks to a White participant about her feelings of increased comfort in talking about race to a White researcher as opposed to a Black researcher.

R: What was it like to talk about these experiences and thoughts with a White researcher?

P: Um, it probably made me easier, it easier for me to tell you how I felt about Black people. Yeah. Definitely actually.

R: Yeah. In what way?

P: Um, if you were Black, it would probably be a lot harder for me to say ... probably really, well ... It's easier to express your opinions to someone of the same race without offending.

R: Yeah. What kinds of things do you think you might be concerned about offending a Black researcher?

P: Um, noticing that I might be chosen before them in a store, it's kind of rude.

R: It feels rude to even notice it?

P: Yes. It does. Because, um, I don't know, I just feel bad about those kinds of things.

R: Mm hm. Yeah, I think that's part of what makes the conversation so silenced or not happening a lot because, you know, there are good intentions in not wanting to offend other people. Also, I think, like I said, just noticing these things are happening is actually a really important thing to notice, that you've noticed that people are being treated differently.

P: I have mixed feelings on it.

R: Yeah. It sounds like that. [29]

In this excerpt, the White participant expressed ambivalence about noticing discriminatory treatment towards Black Americans in a store. She expressed her concern that just noticing these differences in treatment was prejudicial because it did not fit with a colorblind mentality—a limited perspective on race relations that believes one should not acknowledge racial difference at all (GALLAGHER, 2003; HELMS, 1992). The White researcher interjected in this moment in order to reinforce the White participant's experience of taking note of racism and encouraged her to continue to maintain awareness of discrimination. [30]

In another excerpt, the White researcher interjected during another story in which discriminatory treatment was witnessed. The White American female participant of mixed European descent described what it was like to receive better service from staff in stores.

P: It makes me kind of upset that I would notice that, and maybe even for an instance think, be proud that I would be chosen first. It makes me disgusted.

R: So maybe there are all kinds of automatic things that go off? So maybe that automatic, initial pride of being chosen first, that feels rude.

P: Yeah, that feels like it's human nature, but I feel like it disgusts me. Maybe not. Maybe it's just me. I don't know.

R: Yeah.

P: Probably just me.

R: Well, I think a lot of people do feel these things. These are really complicated issues –

P: Yeah ... Why should I notice it? Like if it was two White people who came into the store, I wouldn't have thought anything. Maybe they saw me first.

R: Yeah. So maybe you're kind of judging, you feel?

P: I'm sure I probably do.

R: Mm hm. Well, it also seems helpful to be aware if it is happening because a lot of times it is. [31]

In this case, the White participant asked for a response from the researcher in evaluating her own racism. Given the researcher's understanding that White Americans need to process their racial biases, the White researcher reinforced the participant's awareness that racism had transpired. This comment was an attempt to mirror the participant's feelings of guilt and disgust about the racism within her. This process of reflexivity between researcher and participant can encourage participants to move towards transforming these feelings of awareness into social action (PRODINGER & STAMM, 2010). [32]

The White researchers' interjecting with White participants tended to occur in cases where White participants were presenting a colorblind attitude. Her comments in this area encouraged awareness in an attempt to optimize the potential of the research setting to elicit processing of White participants' feelings about race. At times, White participants asked for responses from the researcher in evaluating their own racism. In these cases, the White researcher's remarks highlighted participant's feelings about the racism to encourage awareness of racism in their lives. [33]

4. Discussion

Common themes from each of the four dyad combinations of researcher and participant races are exhibited in Table 1.

 

Black Participant

White Participant

Black Researcher

Communicate shared experience to reduce emotional burden of racism

Enhance racial and cultural identity development

White Researcher

Validate experience of racism

Encourage awareness of racism

Table 1. Themes of researcher interjecting in researcher-participant dyads [34]

A central theme of the off-script moments in the Black researcher-Black participant dyads included communication of shared understanding in order to ease the emotional burden of telling the story of racism. Among the White researcher-Black participant dyads, the White researcher tended to acknowledge experiences with racism. When working with White participants, the Black researcher encouraged cultural and racial identity development. The White researcher worked in a similar fashion with White participants, but also pushed these participants to acknowledge racism faced by People of Color they may witness. [35]

Given the goals of the researchers—to improve lives and promote learning, especially in the precarious and powerful issue of racial identity—the researchers took the opportunity to facilitate awareness of racism through dialogue with participants. Both researchers found many of the participants to be looking to them for validation and direction. As a result of the silence around these emotionally laden topics of race, both researchers often interjected in moments of tension around these issues. This opportunity to have an expanding, honest dialogue between people across racial groups felt precious. This research emphasized the impossibility of objectivity and the need for intersubjective dialogue in qualitative race research.

  • Limitations: Several limitations were present in this study. For one, while this study focused on the important issue of Black American and White American racial dynamics, the Black-White dichotomy is only one segment of contemporary race relations. There may be a substantial degree of within-group differences in the participants in this study beyond racial identity characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, immigration, and socioeconomic status to name a few. Within-group differences for each of the two researchers were present as well and may have contributed to differences in themes across cross-racial and mono-racial dyads. These differences may have included such variables as interpersonal style or appearance. The qualitative nature of the study also limits the ability to make causal statements about researcher race and outcome on participants. Moreover, male researchers were not used in this study due to lack of availability, which may have impacted the results given potential gender interactions. In addition, non-random sampling was used which may have limited generalizability of the sample to other populations. Finally, follow-up feedback could have been collected from participants to enhance understanding of their experience with the different researchers.

  • Future research: While this study focused on the issue of researcher race, additional research is needed to examine other intersections between the researcher and participant. This research may examine ways in which researcher race intersects with other aspects of social identity such as gender, class, size, and ability. Research that examines researcher race and ethnicity dyads beyond the Black-White dichotomy is essential. In addition, qualitative research on multicultural issues is needed to examine multiracial identity among participants and/or researchers. Other qualitative methodology may benefit the study of these variables, such as grounded theory, adding complexity and an increasingly systematic approach to the methodology. Lastly, further study may examine ways in which White participants who take part in multicultural qualitative research may change in the racial identity awareness following their participation in the study. [36]

In conclusion, researcher and participant race interactions had a consequential impact on semi-structured interviews about race. Off-script comments by the researchers tended to differ depending on the researcher-participant racial combination, with attempts to enhance awareness of racism, facilitate racial identity development, and increase comfort in conversations about the delicate topic of race. [37]

The results of this study have implications for qualitative research interviews. This research highlights the importance of researcher race in making considerations about implementing a semi-structured interview and making modifications during the interview depending on the researcher-participant racial dyad. Specifically, these findings suggest that researcher and participant racial identities combine to influence meaning-making in the context of the research interview, impacting the data that is produced. Therefore, researchers must be attentive to how researcher-participant race interactions contribute to the co-construction of meaning in a qualitative interview. [38]

Researcher race is a crucial variable to consider when conducting research on race and can be used strategically to fully utilize the potential intervention of the research space in multicultural research—facilitating identity development, validating experience, and encouraging participants to take action. Researcher interjecting depending on researcher race is not only useful but often necessary in order to carry out multicultural research that reduces silence and promotes social change. [39]

Note

1) The n-word is a euphemism for the word nigger, a pejorative term used to refer to African Americans that is reflective of historical and present day racism in the U.S. (LOW, 2007). <back>

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Authors

Lauren MIZOCK received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University. Currently, she is a research fellow at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University as well as an outpatient therapist at Arbour Counseling Services. She teaches course in undergraduate psychology at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts and is a consultant for non-profit organizations. Her areas of research and practice include racial identity, transgender issues, fat oppression, and mental illness.

Contact:

Lauren Mizock, PhD

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
940 Commonwealth Avenue West
Boston, MA. 02215, U.S.A.

Phone: +1 617 782 6460 x480

E-mail: lmizock@bu.edu

 

Debra HARKINS holds a PhD from Clark University in Psychology. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Suffolk University and is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts. She is also an executive coach and consultant, specializing in leadership development for women and non-profit human service organizations. Her areas of research focus on social justice, race and ethnicity, conflict resolution, organizational psychology, and community psychology.

Contact:

Debra Harkins, PhD

Psychology Department
Suffolk University
41 Temple Street
Boston, MA 02114, U.S.A.

Phone: +1 617 305 1926

E-mail: dharkins@suffolk.edu

 

Renee MORANT holds a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Suffolk University. She conducts public health research at the Center for Health Justice in Los Angeles, California. She is also a social worker in the foster care system of Riverside County, California. Her areas of research and practice include race and ethnicity, divorce, public health, and HIV.

Contact:

Renee Morant, M.A.

Walden Family Services
3576 Arlington Avenue
Suite 106
Riverside, CA. 92506, U.S.A.

Phone: +1 951 801 7136

E-mail: rmorant@waldenfamily.org

Citation

Mizock, Lauren; Harkins, Debra & Morant, Renee (2011). Researcher Interjecting in Qualitative Race Research [39 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(2), Art. 13, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1102134.



Copyright (c) 2011 Lauren Mizock, Debra Harkins, Renee Morant

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