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Situated affect in traveling data: tracing processes of meaning making in qualitative research
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 12:29 authored by Rachel ThomsonRachel Thomson, Anita Moe, Barrie Thorne, Harriet Bjerrum Neilsen
This article brings psychosocial methods into conversation with methodological and ethical debates arising from the reuse of qualitative research material, and with issues of ethnographic practice. Our empirical grounding came from the psychosocial technique of reading research texts aloud in a group, listening in an affectively attuned way, and sharing our responses. The texts we revisited—infant observation notes of interactions between a young mother and her baby—were originally gathered for the Becoming a Mother project. We identified affectively dense and compelling episodes in the data and, as we detail with examples, examined the textual sources of the experienced meanings and affects that these events evoked in group members. We discuss the epistemological and ethical complexities and challenges of this approach to the archiving and reuse of qualitative empirical material and show how the process of slow, affectively attuned reading of field notes and interviews may enrich qualitative research practices.
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