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Postby Richard » 06 Feb 2018 07:36

In the DA research cluster, Harris led a discussion on an article which takes an anti-essentialist perspective on knowledge. This perspective implies that all realities are subjective and that "interpretivists are apt to draw meaning from the subjective experiences of individuals engaging in social interaction" (from the Wikipedia page on Anti-positivism). If we are conducting research from an anti-essentialist perspective, we're careful to highlight subjects' interpretations over our own, but from the discussion in the research cluster, there are further implications that run counter to standard research practices. An example is that, in anti-essentialist research, conducting an inter-rater reliability check is a waste of time, since there's no reason to believe that two raters should agree (since each has their own subjective interpretation, and there is no 'right' interpretation).

Are there any other implications from conducting anti-essentialist research that run counter to standard research practice?
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Re: Anti-essentialism

Postby stevelouw » 17 Mar 2018 09:56

This reminds me of an experience I had when I was finishing my AL publication. In my research on Dialogicity, one of the reviewers of my article asked why we hadn't run a 'member check' on the data. This would have involved me returning to my participants with my dialogic interpretation of the data, and checking to see whether I had it 'right'. Of course, I hadn't done one, and in fact I couldn't because I was researching the mismatches between what people believe they believe and what it appears they actually do believe based on their behavior. Member checking would therefore not work because I'm sure people wouldn't want to find out that they may not believe what they believe they believe.

Of course, making my readers believe what I believe people believe they believe was the challenge.


Anyway, back to the question: I wasn't in Harris' discussion, but based on my understanding of Richard's question, is member checking therefore not going to fit with an anti-essentialist approach?
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