OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

The Use of Self as a Research Tool

Article

This book chapter considers the emotional experiences of British servicemen’s wives, whose repeated relocation, especially when accompanying serving personnel to foreign postings, involves sustaining numerous personal losses.

Abstract

This chapter considers how the psychoanalytic concept of 'countertransference' might usefully inform the reflexivity of psycho-social researchers by addressing unconscious dynamics. It provides examples taken from doctoral research into the emotional experiences of British servicemen's wives, whose repeated relocation, especially when accompanying serving personnel to foreign postings, involves sustaining numerous personal losses. The chapter argues that if researchers reflect carefully on the emotions evoked in them as they conduct their research, they might achieve deeper levels of understanding of research participants' experiences than would be possible by focusing only on the manifest data.

Full Reference

Jervis, S., 2009. The Use of Self as a Research Tool. In: S. Clarke and P. Hoggett. Eds. Researching Beneath the Surface: Psycho-Social Approaches to Method in Practice, pp. 145-166. London: Karnac.