‘Insider’ or ‘outsider’? Conducting qualitative psychological research with British South Asians

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In recent years social psychologists, as well as scholars from a variety of other academic disciplines, have become increasingly interested in identity among Britons of South Asian (BSA) descent, using a plethora of methodological approaches, both quantitative and qualitative (Cinnirella & Hamilton, 2007; Ghuman, 2003; Vadher & Barrett, in press). Although there is now a burgeoning academic literature focusing upon BSA identity, it does not appear to be matched by scholarly enquiry into methodological issues such as the ‘insider’/ ‘outsider’ dynamics as experienced by researchers and participants (for an exception, see Archer, 2001). This is perhaps not entirely surprising given traditional psychology’s focus upon quantitative research, which expects and assumes a degree of ‘objectivity’, whereby the researcher and ‘the researched’ are entirely separate and independent of one another (Coyle, 2007). However, in qualitative psychological research this is rarely possible. But what can be said about the relationship between the researcher and the participants? What is the importance of the researcher within the broader context of the research?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
JournalPsyPAG Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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