chapter  7
18 Pages

Quality: Refl exivity, Dialogue, and Relational Aesth-et(h)ics or So What?

Let us begin by sharing our conversations with each other about the aim and scope of this fi nal chapter. We began with the working title of “quality.” Our aim was to talk about how we might explore (judge?) the “soundness” and utility of any process of inquiry (any research)—after all we have said that ‘not anything goes.’ Who decides what counts as good research, on what basis, and on what criteria? The issue of quality seemed appropriate for inclusion in this text, and, indeed, we felt it to be an important area to discuss. However, we soon found ourselves being pulled toward engaging with the traditional positive science concerns of reliability and validity. Of course we concentrated on the various attempts to develop revisions that seemed more consistent with our relational constructionist discourse (Denzin 2008; Kvale 2008). But, as we struggled, we realized that this was not what we wanted to do either. At one point we abandoned the term “quality” altogether. We continued to write, taking seriously our feeling that we wanted to write about refl exivity and ethics, and those were the appropriate topics. We wanted to go beyond the realm of evaluation (discussed in the last chapter) and to underscore the very unique understanding of refl exivity and ethics suggested by a relational constructionist discourse.