ABSTRACT

A young Black Caribbean mother reflecting upon her involvement in a research study tells the Black Caribbean interviewer ‘Some of the questions you could actually feel was a white person asking them, and some of them were just so stupid that you could get the feeling that somebody was trying to get inside black people to find out what it is like’ (Phoenix, 2001, p207). In Bradford, a Britishborn Indian Sikh researcher seeking access to Pakistani youth is met with suspicion from community leaders and is routinely met with the questions ‘You don’t sound like you are from around here? Who do you work for? Who’s funding the project, the government?’ (Sanghera and Thapar-Bjorkert, 2008, p554). An Indo-Canadian researcher investigating reproductive decision making among women in India finds her training and supervision within a British university woefully inadequate. As a ‘diasporic’, young and junior researcher, her authority and identity were questioned and often undermined in the field. She concludes that her white supervisors’ ‘fieldwork warnings and advice [were] being tailored to assumptions about western privilege and power’ (Henry, 2007, p73).