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Disability research by disabled and non‐disabled people: towards a relational methodology of research production

Tregaskis, Claire and Goodley, Dan A. (2005) Disability research by disabled and non‐disabled people: towards a relational methodology of research production. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8 (5). pp. 364-374. ISSN 1364-5579

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Abstract

This paper explores some of the problems and opportunities that may derive from the development of working relationships between disabled and non‐disabled researchers. First a number of key barriers that face disabled researchers from the outset of research are sketched out. However, these barriers are not dwelt on as they have been documented and challenged well by others. Rather, in seeking to identify good research practice that can challenge such barriers, it is suggested that enabling modes of research production may often be uncovered through a careful examination of the working relationships between members of research teams. This approach is illustrated through a discussion of a range of relational issues that have impacted upon the authors’ own research partnership: (i) Relating in research: Tackling fears and issues around self‐disclosure; (ii)Psychoanalytic sensitivity: Privileging ontological experience and reflexivity; (iii) Towards a feminist ethics of care: Challenging methodological individualism; and (iv) Interdependence in research: towards enriched analysis. In terms of advancing an agenda for inclusive disability research, it is believed that making explicit the complexity of disabled/non‐disabled research relationships like this is one practical way in which general assumptions of a binary disabled/non‐disabled split may be challenged, whilst simultaneously recognizing that equitable working partnerships can only derive from the equal valuing of difference.

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