Speaking With(in): Embodied Reflexivity and Embodied Knowledge

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Predicated upon our desire to destabilize any notion of “axiological neutrality” within qualitative research on the (moving) body we examine how our own researcher bodies come to bear across the spectrum of the research process. We engage the cultural identities of ourselves and the individuals we encounter through author body-narratives derived from three separate research studies all of which focus on our biopolitical subjectivity in some way. These narratives point towards the corporeal contradictions of being located within a culture of reading and critiquing bodies while realising our own trajectories as a somewhat complex set of assemblages. They advance a politics of reflexivity that shed light on how we experience, make claims and speak about others as bodies made known through our own bodies which are always in a process of becoming (Coleman, 2008). We consider speaking with bodies, highlighting the challenges of moving beyond taken-for-granted body knowledge when our physicality legitimises bionormality. We tussle with the vulnerability our subjectivities evoke, we question our responses when our corporeality is silenced and we problematize our ability to engage in border crossing within particular communities when the body and embodied knowing complicates the process. Whilst much has been written about intersubjectivity of data collection and the politics of representation and voice, we advocate for the extension of this reflexivity in relation to the lived embodied experiences of researchers’ presentation and dissemination of their work across public and academic context. Doing so means understanding not what researchers’ bodies might signify, but what they do relationally in the constitution of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2013
EventEuropean Sociological Association Annual Conference: Crisis, Critique and Change - University of Turin, Turin, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Aug 201331 Aug 2013


ConferenceEuropean Sociological Association Annual Conference: Crisis, Critique and Change
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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