A Journey to the Centre of Self: Positioning the Researcher in Autoethnography

Jayne Pitard


For a reader to trust the perspective of a researcher as presented in qualitative inquiry, the disclosure of the researcher's position in relation to the data is vital. Who am I in relation to the research? becomes the central tenet in disclosing the positioning of the researcher. I contend that what we know (ontology), and how we know it (epistemology), are a result of our philosophical beliefs developed through our lifelong learning and not a precursor to them. In seeking to understand my philosophical positioning when researching my teaching a group of professionals from Timor Leste, I have found it helpful to answer four questions. What do I believe underpins my knowledge of life? Where did I gain this belief? How does this belief influence the way I react to situations and people? How do the assumptions, which I have accumulated from my life experiences, affect my reflexivity in my research? This article describes the process that I have used to reveal my position in relation to the data using examples from my autoethnography.


positioning; autoethnography; teaching; Timor Leste; ontology; epistemology; methodology; reflexivity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-18.3.2764

Copyright (c) 2017 Jayne Pitard

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