Chapter 2: Connecting to the Bodies We Research



This critical autoethnography takes place during the opening lecture of an interdisciplinary graduate-level Qualitative Research Seminar. As the professor compares and contrasts the orientation, goals, and design of positivist, interpretive, critical, and post-structural methodologies, the narrative shifts between the class dialogue and a new M.A. student’s stream of consciousness as she struggles to identify the methodological lens that will provide answers to her research questions. She weighs the risks, possibilities and limitations of personal standpoint, reflexivity, the institutional review board, and researcher/participant relationships related to open-ended narrative interviews focused on the embodied and social experience of bulimia or physical disabilities. The story ends with a call to staged performance interpretations of qualitative data to resist cultural stigma and marginalization.