Reflexivity is vital in social research projects, but there remains relatively little advice on how to execute it in practice. This book provides social science researchers with both a strong rationale for the importance of thinking reflexively and a practical guide to doing reflexivity within their research. The first book on the subject to build primarily on the theoretical and empirical contributions of Pierre Bourdieu's reflexive work, it combines academic analysis with practical examples and case studies, drawing both on recent reflexive research projects and original empirical data from new projects conducted by the author. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book will be of interest to researchers from all career stages and disciplinary backgrounds, but especially early-career researchers and students who are struggling with subjectivity, positionality, and the realities of being reflexive.
"Excellent book! Clearly discusses Bourdieu's framework and shows how it can be applied. Also great to have some guidance on what reflexivity is and how Bourdieu's framework can be applied to support it. Well written; a pleasure to read." Sarah Boodt, Sheffield Hallam University
"This engaging and readable text offers invaluable help for any social science researchers grappling with reflexivity." Helen Kara, We Research It
"Provides a framework of how to conceptualise reflexivity and its successful integration into one’s own research... particularly recommended for students and early career researchers who seek to contextualise and understand their ‘identities’ in the research process." Dr Eric Baumgartner, Teeside University
"An essential guide for working sociologists; it not only provides a clear theoretical and empirical exploration of the concept and practice of reflexivity, but also provides opportunities to recognise how far we ourselves already do reflexivity and how we can use it to improve our research and teaching practices." Mark Taylor, University of Sheffield
Jon Dean is a senior lecturer in politics and sociology at Sheffield Hallam University. His research focuses on the voluntary sector and charitable giving, with a particular interest in inequalities within the charity sphere, especially around social class and youth participation. He also works in the field of homelessness, and the representation of need in fundraising appeals.
Introduction: a rationale for reflexivity;
Pierre Bourdieu and the development of theory;
Putting yourself in? Bourdieu's reflexive project;
Standpoints, disciplines, spaces;
Reflexivity in the field: four case studies;
Desert Island discourses: doing a parallel analysis;
The reflexive me;
Coda: writing in the social sciences.