Seeking researcher identity through the co-construction and representation of young people's narratives of identity

Sarah Lindsay Kearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper tells the story of how a model of action research was used to examine my own development and emerging identity as a researcher through the Master of Research programme at my employing university in Scotland. It is located within a context of increasing expectations on academics within vocational training departments of UK universities to give priority to research activity. My story aims to engage with how the challenges in developing ‘self-as-researcher’ were interwoven with my learning through undertaking a narrative inquiry project with ‘More Choices, More Chances’ young people, as part of the Master of Research. The key stages of the research process, notably the search for authentic ways of gathering and representing the stories of the young people around the key themes of identity and inclusion, evoked the resonance of these themes with my own narrative of shifting and overlapping identities. In setting this paper within the context of current international literature I aim to add to current interest in reflexivity in research through illuminating the connections between the action research and narrative inquiry processes. Values around empowerment and social justice, illustrated in the paper through reflecting on the researcher/participant relationship, are interwoven in both. The visual research methods used in the narrative inquiry project are examined in terms of their contribution to an empowering ‘space’ for storytelling, and to my representation of these stories in trustworthy ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages17
JournalEducational Action Research
Issue number1
Early online date6 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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