chapter  6
13 Pages

Authenticity, Legitimacy and Power: Critical Ethnography and Identity Politics


In the fi elds of sociology, geography and anthropology, critical debates have taken place with regard to the nature and e ects of the relationships of power, positioning, representation and identity (e.g. racial, ethnic and gender to name a few) that are constructed between researchers and their participants in the research process (see Gilbert, 1994; Henry, 2003, 2007; Herod, 1999; Mullings, 1999; Thapar-Björkert and Henry, 2004; Sanghera and Thapar-Björkert, 2007). From a refl exive standpoint, research in these fi elds has explored key methodological issues that address the importance of researcher and participant identities and the ways in which participants exercise power to position the researcher and control access to their community. Furthermore, research across these fi elds illustrates clearly that a researcher’s identity is integral to both the process and the product of the research (see Henry, 2003).