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    The role of positionality in research ‘gone wrong’: critical reflections on research involving young people

    Wilkinson, Samantha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1564-5472 and Wilkinson, Catherine (2023) The role of positionality in research ‘gone wrong’: critical reflections on research involving young people. Children's Geographies. ISSN 1473-3285

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    Abstract

    In this Viewpoint, we consider the importance of positionality in research ‘gone wrong’. We focus on the intersections of age, gender and appearance. Reflecting on two doctoral research projects involving young people (one about alcohol consumption practices and another about community radio), researched by us–young female researchers, we reveal unanticipated ethical dilemmas from the field. These include: being fancied by a male participant; a young male participant asking if he could stay at the researcher’s home; and being asked to buy alcohol for young participants. Now established academics, we feel able to reflect critically on such complex and unanticipated research situations. We hope being candid about these ethical quandaries will inspire the next generation of children’s geographers to consider the importance of reflexivity around positionality as they embrace the inherent messiness of research ethics.

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