Emotional Work During Biographical Research: A Researcher's Personal Reflection: Researcher's Experience (ongoing biographical research projects)

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:00 AM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Olga NOWACZYK , University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland
Social research are entangled in experience of researchers, who are emotionally affected by the work that they do.  Particularly In qualitative research reserchers’ engagement could influencing on the resulting of data. Since during the biographical interview faceing many difficult situations. So it is in my case. In my biographical research with veterans I am often in difficult emotional situation. I am going to refer how I manage with this problem and provoke methodological discussion in that field. Biographical interviews required hard emotional work  of researchers. Therefore in my paper I take a distinctly approach to provide a personal account of my experiences of doing emotional work while conducting my postdoctoral fieldwork. To add context, my research focuses on the biographical interviews with the polish former soldier of the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In my research I define this social category as veterans because respondents identify themselves as such, too. Thus, through collecting stories, the research seeks to explore experiences and understandings of former soldiers wounded and injured on mission abroad, both in terms of these constructions, and the ways in which people manage and negotiate them. My paper focus on two ways of biographical research reflections. Firstly, on the considerable emotional challenges encountered during the research process and the ways in which these were managed through both successful and unsuccessful coping strategies. Secondly, I detail the ways in which my identity and biography impacted upon this emotional work and my relationships with participants. In order to embody such discussions I use excerpts from my own research diary and quotes from participants.  Conclusions in my paper concern to the ways in which we, as the community of researchers, can do more to share our research experiences with each other for the benefit of ourselves and our work.