Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections (Transformations)

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9780415605175: Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process: Feminist Reflections (Transformations)

Feminist research is informed by a history of breaking silences, of demanding that women’s voices be heard, recorded and included in wider intellectual genealogies and histories. This has led to an emphasis on voice and speaking out in the research endeavour. Moments of secrecy and silence are less often addressed. This gives rise to a number of questions. What are the silences, secrets, omissions and and political consequences of such moments?  What particular dilemmas and constraints do they represent or entail? What are their implications for research praxis? Are such moments always indicative of voicelessness or powerlessness? Or may they also constitute a productive moment in the research encounter? Contributors to this volume were invited to reflect on these questions. The resulting chapters are a fascinating collection of insights into the research process, making an important contribution to theoretical and empirical debates about epistemology, subjectivity and identity in research. Researchers often face difficult dilemmas about who to represent and how, what to omit and what to include. This book explores such questions in an important and timely collection of essays from international scholars.

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About the Author:

Róisín Ryan-Flood is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, kinship and migration. She is the author of Lesbian Motherhood: Gender, Families and Sexual Citizenship (2009). Her current research explores sexuality, citizenship and diaspora.

Rosalind Gill is Professor of Subjectivity and Cultural Analysis in the Faculty of Social sciences, The Open University. She is author of Gender and the Media (2007) and is currently writing a book about mediated intimacy.

Review:

Róisín Ryan-Flood and Rosalind Gill have given us a treasure trove of intellectually powerful and unflinching analyses of the secrets and silences within the processes of research. Gail Lewis' technique of focusing closely on one small moment of data collection will become a teaching classic. This chapter is not just essential for researchers; it needs to be included in the training of social workers and other public-service professionals. I found myself wishing that this kind of research culture had been available when I was a young fieldworker. Times Higher Education Supplement

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