Voicing Others’ Voices: Spotlighting the Researcher as Narrator



As qualitative research undertakings are not independent of the researcher, the “indissoluble interrelationship between interpreter and interpretation” (Thomas & James, 2006, p. 782) renders it necessary for researchers to understand that their text is a representation, a version of the truth that is the product of writerly choices, and that it is discursive. Endlessly creative, artistic and political, as there is no single interpretative truth, the interpretative process facilitates the refashioning of representations, the remaking of choices and the probing of discourses. As a consequence of the particularity of any researcher’s account, issues pertaining to researcher identity and authorial stance always remain central to research endeavours (Kamler & Thomson, 2006, p. 68; Denzin & Lincoln 2011, pp. 14-15). Therefore, researchers are encouraged to be reflexive about their analyses and research accounts (Elliott, 2005, p. 152), as reflexivity helps spotlight the role of the researcher as narrator. In turn, spotlighting the researcher as narrator foregrounds a range of complex issues about voice, representation and interpretive authority (Chase, 2005, p. 657; Genishi & Glupczynski, 2006, p. 671; Eisenhart, 2006). In essence, therefore, this paper is reflective of the challenges of “doing” qualitative research in educational settings. Its particular focus-the shaping of beginning primary teachers’ identities, in Ireland, throughout the course of their initial year of occupational experience, post-graduation- endeavours to highlight issues pertaining to the researcher as narrator (O’Sullivan, 2014).


Voice, Interpretation, Representation, Narrative strategies, Researcher identity

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic Irish Education
Pages 211 - 222
Issue IEJEE, Volume 8, Issue 2, Special Issue: Contemporary Irish Education
Read (times) 541
Downloaded (times) 327

Author(s) Details


University College Cork, Ireland


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