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Interpreting and presenting marginalized voices through intersubjective accounts

Interpreting and presenting marginalized voices through intersubjective accounts

Phillips, David (2016) Interpreting and presenting marginalized voices through intersubjective accounts. Qualitative Research Journal, 16 (1). pp. 26-38. ISSN 1443-9883 (Print), 1448-0980 (Online) (doi:

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The purpose of this paper is to introduce a unique approach to accessing, interpreting, and presenting issues concerning the lives of social science research participants. It particularly focuses on accessing those considered to be economically, socially, or politically marginalized and where there is reliance upon intersubjective accounts in two languages.

The conceptual and empirical material referred to in this paper is drawn from the author’s doctoral research of a Fair Trade case study in Malawi. The approach presented
is influenced by concepts derived from postcolonial theory, grounded theory, and intersubjectivity.

For the community empowerment research focus it was important to provide space to capture voices of all participants, accounting for the hierarchical socio-political context in which people were embedded. This required the use of interpreters, introducing challenges related to intersubjectivity such as recognizing and accounting for positionalities and impressions of multiple
parties collaborating in the process of collecting and interpreting qualitative research material.

Practical implications
Investing in trained and engaged interpreters, using pilot interviews, including participants’ data in the field research design process, and capturing marginalized voices
helps a researcher to mitigate challenges related to bias and power relations.

Recognizing inherent shortcomings related to interpreter-facilitated research and power relations, the framework presented provides a reflective and practical methodological approach for qualitative researchers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Positionality, Representation, Interpretation, Subjectivity, Intersubjectivity, Marginalized voices
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2019 14:23

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