This study investigates our role as early years researchers in qualitative data analysis. We draw on our doctoral studies to address how the co-construction, co-performance and co-reflection of narratives elicit deeper and new understandings of early years workers in England, and how our life stories are co-produced through narrative inquiry. Employing a constructionist approach and building on Buitelaar theorisation of I-positions and the multi-vocal ‘self’, we explore how narratives are co-constructed and co-performed between the researched and researcher in relation to the ‘self’ and master narratives of culture, time and place. Data were collected using focus groups and semi-structured interviews involving 50 early years workers and 17 nurseries situated in the South East of England. By ‘co-reflecting’ on how the data was analysed, we discussed the ways in which we and our participants are simultaneously positioned within social categories of intersectionality, such as gender, social class, mother and worker. Our reflections offer a broader understanding of how qualitative research can enrich existing knowledge of how early years workers and their practice are constructed in England.
- early years worker
- narrative research