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Afterword

Loughran, Tracey and Mannay, Dawn 2018. Afterword. In: Loughran, Tracey and Mannay, Dawn eds. Emotion and the researcher: sites, subjectivities, and relationships, Vol. 16. Bingley: Emerald, pp. 261-268.

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Abstract

More than four years ago, a group of open-minded and curious individuals came together to talk about how emotion had shaped their experiences as researchers. Over the course of two workshops, we heard about emotional experiences at academic conferences, in conducting ethnographic or oral history interviews, in reading sources and texts, in negotiating decisions about the care of patients and clients and in moving through different communities and places as researchers. These workshops replicated in miniature our wider experiences of emotion and research. We felt nervous anticipation at the prospect of sharing stories, previously untold, that were close to our hearts; joy, relief and recognition at hearing about the emotional journeys of others; and happy excitement at new discoveries, collaborations and friendships. Alongside these positive emotions, there were also some rapid shifts in mood, perhaps to be expected when so many of us felt exposed and vulnerable. Some memories are especially vivid: one participant’s bitter outpouring of resentment at the marginalisation of certain voices and experiences within the wider context of academia; jostling over perceived claims to greater emotional ‘authenticity’; and flashes of anger at failures of understanding between speaker and audience. All these experiences are everyday parts of academic life, but with the spotlight on emotion, they felt particularly intense and meaningful over those two days. Those workshops confirmed our growing sense that others were also desperate to find ways and places to reflect on the role of emotion within their research. More than this, however, the workshops simultaneously revealed the limits of our own knowledge, and provided a practical demonstration of how emotion is conceptualised and deployed within research relationships and academic spaces. We felt there was much more to learn and much more to say. This volume has therefore endeavoured to explore multiple aspects of the operation of emotion in research. It has taken in different stages of the research process, from the formulation of research questions and methodologies to decisions about how and where to communicate findings. It has examined diverse sites, from fieldwork carried out face-to-face and online, on a different continent or in the researcher’s home community, to clinical practice and academic conferences. Finally, it represents multiple disciplinary perspectives across the humanities, social sciences and healthcare sciences. By directly addressing the nature and scope of social research and the impact of social relations on this research, the volume should be relevant to researchers in any discipline. We are proud of the contributions brought together here and feel that the volume is a valuable addition to an emergent field. At the same time, it is clear that there is still much for those interested in the relationship between emotion and research to learn and to do. At the close of this volume, then, we look forward to consider the directions that future explorations of emotion and research might take.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotion, Reflexivity, Research, Subjectivity
Publisher: Emerald
ISBN: 9781787146129
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2018 21:50
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/114377

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