Masculinity, age and rapport in qualitative research

2017-03-24T10:00:17Z (GMT) by Thomas Thurnell-Read
Purpose To reflect on the central role of gender and age in qualitative research practice, particularly in regard to how the gender and age of the researcher influence fieldwork interactions. Methodology/approach A reflection of three separate qualitative research undertakings, all of which made use of interviews and participant-observation fieldwork. Findings Gender and age intersections of both the researcher and research subjects influence fieldwork interactions both in terms of discursive and embodied interactions. Reflections on past research involve considering the relative changing subject position of the researcher in terms of masculinity, youth and social status. Rapport is established in the field through talk and interaction that can involve the performance of knowledge and gender. The researcher’s embodied feeling of ‘fitting in’ during fieldwork therefore draws on gender-, age- and ethnicity-specific privilege. Originality/value Unlike many acts of researcher reflexivity which reflect on a single research project, this chapter recalls experiences of fieldwork during three separate research undertakings. It adds to debates about methodological issues of doing research into men and masculinities by exploring how such is intersected by the age of both the researcher and research participants.