How does “subjective I” influence a qualitative research question, theoretical approach and methodologies?
The “subjective Is” are those values and beliefs that a researcher or a practitioner brings to a research project or practice. The “subjective I” enables the researchers or practitioners to ask three sets of questions (a) “ who am I?”; (b) what factors influenced or informed the beliefs and values; and (c) how these beliefs and values affected my approach to developing a research interest, its research questions, theoretical approach, and methodologies. While these questions may not have an explicit influence on quantitative inquiries, it is the bedrock for a qualitative inquiry. Therefore, it is very important that qualitative researchers should engage in the process of identifying their “Subjective I’s” and reflect on how these could influence their preferred research interest, its research questions, theoretical approach and methodologies. This paper has three sections. First, I provided a description of reflexivity, highlighting its purpose in a qualitative research building on evidence from the literature. Subsequently, I provided the strengths of being reflexive as well as identify the potential limitations of not being reflexive in qualitative inquiry. Second, I identified and described three of my “subjective I” as inspired by Pushkin (1998). Third, I discussed how the identified three “subjective I” would influence some components of a hypothetical research topic including its theoretical approach, the research questions, and methodology approach.
Keywords: Reflexivity, Qualitative Injury, Subjective I