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Shaping the field: a reflexive account of practitioner interference during ethnographic fieldwork in radiotherapy

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date08/2018
Host publicationEthnographies and Health: Reflections on Empirical and Methodological Entanglements
EditorsEmma Garnett, Joanna Reynolds, Sarah Milton
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783319893969
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork at two UK hospitals during periods of technological change, I explore the multiplicity of roles performed when a practitioner turns ethnographer: from confidante, resource, bystander, friend, lunch buddy and observed. I describe how the situated body becomes part of procedures and relations in the field and how denying this is to deny intuition, feelings and position as part of research relationships. This reflexive approach acknowledges the researcher’s own knowledge production and epistemic practices required to work through the difficulties and tensions that emerge from practitioner relationships. I conclude that, through reflexive analysis that avoids self-absorption, practitioner ethnographers can clarify findings and provide a trace of intellectual and social paths that lead to conclusions made.