'Don't ask a woman to do another woman's job': gendered interactions and the emotional ethnographer

Karen Lumsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


This article contributes to the reflexive turn within the social sciences by arguing for enhanced recognition of the role of gender and emotions in the research process. The chief instrument of research, the ethnographer herself, may alter that which is being studied and may be changed in turn (Golde, 1970). Women may trigger off specific behaviours in male-dominated settings such as the ‘boy racer’ culture. This includes the gender-related behaviours of ‘sexual hustling’ and ‘sexist treatment’ (Gurney, 1985). Ethnographers must adopt a reflexive approach and locate themselves within the ethnography while recognising the influence of their social position on interactions with the researched and the research itself. An awareness of these interactions does not undermine the data but instead acknowledges that the researcher and the researched are embedded within the research. Hence, they shape the ethnography while also being shaped in turn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-513
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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