• ‘I call it the hero complex’ – Critical considerations of power and privilege and seeking to be an agent of change in qualitative researchers’ experiences.

      Oakley, Lisa; Fenge, Lee-Ann; Taylor, Bethan; University of Chester, Bournemouth University, My CWA
      There is a relative paucity of studies specifically exploring the experiences of qualitative researchers undertaking research in socially sensitive areas or with marginalised groups. This paper reports some of the findings of a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of ten participant researchers. The findings of this study suggest that participant researchers are cognisant of issues of power and privilege in conducting their research. They also illustrate the motivation to enact change via the research findings. However, they demonstrate the complexities of power, privilege and change in the research process and how these concepts can be related to researcher guilt. The study shows that experience can act as a buffer in the qualitative research process but that further work in researcher resilience is required. Participant researchers suggest the need for more honest and open discussions around foundational principles of qualitative research. They suggest further development of cross institutional spaces for these discussions to take place. However, the paper also illustrates the necessity to consider issues of power, privilege and research as social change at individual, institutional and systemic levels,