feminist online interviewing: engaging issues of power, resistance and reflexivity in practice
This paper is a response to scholars who have called for exploring and interrogating new strategies of data collection and new approaches to more traditional methods, such as interviewing in the context of the internet. Drawing on feminist standpoint theory, ‘reflexive email interviewing’ is proposed as a method for feminist research. The method is illustrated using a recent case study of email interviews with self-identified women who are members of World Pulse, an online community that aims to unite and amplify women’s voices worldwide. Through this case study, issues of power and resistance in the researcher/researched relationship and of participant reflexivity are interrogated. Lastly, criteria for reflexive email interviewing are proposed, including 1) strategies to interrogate and disrupt power hierarchies within the research process, 2) researcher reflexivity as a continuous part of the research process, and 3) continued invitations for participants to directly reflect on and respond to the research process. Reflexive questions are offered for researchers to use during research design and in each phase of their research process to ensure reflexivity is achieved.