Context-Specific Positioning: A Research Method and an Analysis Strategy Based on the Example of a Minority Teacher

Vesna Varga, Chantal Munsch


Developed in this article is an approach to context-specific positioning as a research method and an analysis strategy for qualitative migration research. Theoretical approaches and research have long stressed that migration-related processes of differentiation and the construction of belonging need to be seen as social phenomena which come about through relational means and differ according to context. This requires fluid social relationships (migration-related or otherwise) to be systematically analysed with regard to the specific everyday contexts in which they form. Until now, however, there has been little such analysis. This work reveals a possible methodology for achieving this by linking the analysis of positioning processes with the analysis of the setting in which positioning occurs in narratives. It thus specifically points out the ways in which positioning analysis can be used more fruitfully than previously by migration researchers.

This procedure is illuminated by an interview with a teacher ascribed to a minority. The analysis reveals from the teacher's point of view how migration-related (and other) processes of positioning oneself and others vary depending on everyday context, and reveals the significance that positionings take within school dominance systems and hierarchies.



migration research; positioning; positioning analysis; context analysis; grounded theory methodology; narrative interview; minority teachers; cultural representations and differences; school


Copyright (c) 2014 Vesna Varga, Chantal Munsch

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.