Conference Essay: A Cultural Psychological Reflection on Collaborative Research


  • Flora Cornish Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Tania Zittoun Université de Lausanne
  • Alex Gillespie University of Stirling



collaboration, reflexivity, research practice, cultural psychology


This essay reports on discussions that took place at a workshop on collaborative research in European cultural psychology. The production of knowledge in social interaction is, for sociocultural psychologists, something that is observed and theorised as it is undertaken by research participants. Researchers less frequently reflect on the social relations through which their own scientific knowledge is produced. The workshop focused on five empirical collaborative research projects and aimed to explore the intellectual significance of the social relations of collaboration. In the course of the workshop, we developed a cultural psychological conceptualisation of collaboration as an institutionally situated interaction between divergent perspectives with a (partially) shared goal. This perspective leads us to consider the value of divergent perspectives in instigating reflexivity and novelty. We present here a framework of dimensions for describing different forms of scientific collaboration which may be useful for researchers planning future collaborations. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0703217


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Author Biographies

Flora Cornish, Glasgow Caledonian University

Flora CORNISH is a Lecturer in the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Community Health at Glasgow Caledonian University. She is a social psychologist with research interests in the problem of how people with divergent interests manage to coordinate collective action, in contexts such as community development approaches to improving public health and the interaction between service users and health services.

Tania Zittoun, Université de Lausanne

Tania ZITTOUN is a Junior Associate Professor (Maître Assistante) in clinical psychosociology. She is interested in people's development through everyday conduct in their social and symbolic environment.

Alex Gillespie, University of Stirling

Alex GILLESPIE is a Lecturer in social psychology at the University of Stirling. His work deals with the relation between society, social interaction and psychological processes.




How to Cite

Cornish, F., Zittoun, T., & Gillespie, A. (2007). Conference Essay: A Cultural Psychological Reflection on Collaborative Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 8(3).



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