Creating a (More) Reflexive Canadian Disability Studies: Our Team’s Account
Keywords:reflexivity, collaboration, positionality, qualitative research, disability, Canada
This article reviews a reflexive process undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of researchers working on a study about chronic illness in the academic workplace funded by a Canadian granting agency. The authors discuss the concept of reflexivity, offer reasons for why reflexivity is especially important for research teams working in disability studies, and broadly call on Canadian disability scholars to be reflexive. They contend that the personal is indeed political and that this needs to be fleshed out. Given that there is much silence surrounding the practice of reflexivity by disability studies scholars, the authors identify and discuss four challenges to putting the call for a reflexive Canadian disability studies into practice: both personal and structural. The discussion of challenges is speculative, yet grounded in the authors’ personal experience of reflexive engagement and knowledge of the discipline of disability studies. It is hoped that this speculation can be overcome by fact in the coming years as Canadian disability scholars increasingly opt to incorporate reflexive processes into their research practices and make them transparent by finding ‘space’ to tell others about them.
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