Exploring and Developing Reciprocity in Research Design

Oct. 01, 2013

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 26, Issue 8, 2013, pages 986-1003.
The researcher–participant relationship has the potential to be reciprocal, a relationship in which each contributes something the other needs or desires.
Participants devote their time, effort, experiences, and wisdom to inform and shape the researcher’s study.
The researcher’s scope, depth, and nature of inquiry introduce vulnerability to participants’ lives. In turn, researchers are susceptible to variable involvement and apathy from participants.

The authors describe the affordances of a stance of reciprocity, illustrating the contours of the component in recruitment, participation, analysis, and presentation. They ask:
How do truth traditions support reciprocity?
How do we authentically reciprocate participants’ efforts throughout the research process?
And finally, how might qualitative work embrace reciprocity and lead education research to a broader conceptualization of evidence, one that expands the transformative potential of our collective work?

Updated: Jan. 20, 2014