The Place of the Unconscious in Qualitative Research


  • Harriet W. Meek New Mexico State University



qualitative research, reflection, unconscious processes


We know our research design, how data is structured, the questions we ask, methods we use and many other factors allow some meanings to emerge and obfuscates others. We speak as though these decision-making processes are entirely logical, but an intuitive leap is often necessary. The writer maintains that unconscious mental processing is a necessary part of qualitative research, lying under what we call "reflective processing." Some difficult research situations are discussed and ways they might be understood reflexively are shown. Ideas about reflection on the impact of subjectivity in the research process are also discussed. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0302380


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Author Biography

Harriet W. Meek, New Mexico State University

Harriet W. MEEK is on the faculty of New Mexico State University. She worked as a psychotherapist for 30 years before coming to academia. Her research interests are in the areas of early development, clinical practice, teaching and learning and the research process.




How to Cite

Meek, H. W. (2003). The Place of the Unconscious in Qualitative Research. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(2).