Relatively normal? Navigating emergent sensitivity in generating and analysing accounts of ‘normality’

Witney, Tom and Keogh, Peter (2020). Relatively normal? Navigating emergent sensitivity in generating and analysing accounts of ‘normality’. International Journal of Social Research Methodology (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2020.1857967

Abstract

This article describes methodological and ethical issues associated with examining discourses of ‘normality’ in the context of the normalisation of HIV and relationships.  It considers how sensitivity was anticipated, encountered and managed in the recruitment of participants and during research interviews, discussing the implications of these in this project.  It reflects on the tensions present when generating data on topics externally deemed to be ‘sensitive’ but considered ‘normal’ by participants. In doing so, it has wider relevance for research on experiences that were once prohibited but are now considered normative in some settings, such as gay marriage. However, highlighting the importance of ‘the normal’ in notions of stigma, it concludes that potentially any research project that examines or questions ‘normality’ may give rise to sensitivity, emphasising the importance of reflexivity in assessing and managing sensitivity throughout the research process.

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About

  • Item ORO ID
  • 74084
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1464-5300
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetThe Open University (OU)
  • Keywords
  • HIV; serodiscordant relationships; sensitivity; normalisation
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
  • Research Group
  • Citizenship and Governance
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2020 Informa UK
  • Depositing User
  • Thomas Witney

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