Men researching women’s experiences of sexism and discrimination: an impossible position?

Owain Smolović-Jones, Sanela Smolović-Jones, Scott Taylor, Emily Laura Yarrow

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This chapter explores challenges identified and experienced during a diversity research project designed to analyze the implementation of sex- based quotas to increase women’s representation in a high- profile British professional setting, national politics. Conceptually, our discussion here centers on the long- standing debate on whether or how researchers can study others. In considering this issue, following Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln’s (2005) principles, we1 provide an account of ourselves as biographically situated researchers in order to examine the implications of similarity and difference for the researcher- as- subject, the paradigm or perspective in use, data collection methods, and the politics of interpretation.

    Our account here therefore touches on ontology, epistemology, subjectivity, the nature of empirical materials, and the production of text- as- knowledge. We do not present a “strong” argument as to how research of the kind we are conducting should be done. Rather, the aim of this chapter is to demonstrate the tensions and contradictions inherent to researching diversity when considering any subject position as researcher and researched. We work with the assumption that it is relatively rare for us to collect data from, or analyze the subject position of, a person or group that we fully identify with. In other words, we start from the understanding that there is always at least a little “othering” between us and the people we research; this chapter is an examination of how and why it is important to recognize that othering, for those we research, for us as researchers, and in relation to the knowledge we produce.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods
    EditorsSine Nørholm Just, Annette Risberg, Florence Villesèche
    Place of PublicationNew York
    ISBN (Print)978-0-367-21148-6
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2020

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge Companions in Business, Management and Marketing


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