Knowing through relations. On the Epistemology and Methodology of Being a Reflexive Insider

Hanne Cecilie Geirbo 

pp. 107 - 123, download






Empirical studies of information and communication technology (ICT) is often done by researchers who work closely with practitioners. Acquiring a role as an insider researcher gives the researcher performative knowledge of the phenomenon that is being studied. Performative knowledge can provide valuable insight into a design process, but this requires that the researcher records her practical experiences, including the sensory, and subject them to analysis. In this paper, I propose that a commitment to a relational epistemology and the positioning as a reflexive insider can open for attending to the performative knowledge gained in the field as a source of data. I will call for attending to the relation to things and places, as well as to people during fieldwork, in analysis and in writing up the research. I will draw on an ethnographic study of a pilot project in Bangladesh to discuss this. 


Keywords:  Design of ICT, ethnography, insider-research, reflexivity, relational epistemology, performative knowledge


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