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Feminist Review

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 101–119 | Cite as

reflexivity and queer embodiment: some reflections on sexualities research in Ghana

  • Ellie GoreEmail author
Article

abstract

The ‘reflexive turn’ transcended disciplinary boundaries within the social sciences. Feminist scholars in particular have taken up its core concerns, establishing a wide-ranging literature on reflexivity in feminist theory and practice. In this paper, I contribute to this scholarship by deconstructing the ‘story’ of my own research as a white, genderqueer, masculine-presenting researcher in Ghana. This deconstruction is based on thirteen months of field research exploring LGBT activism in the capital city of Accra. Using a series of ethnographic vignettes, I examine questions of queer subjectivity, embodiment and self/Other dynamics in the research encounter. Specifically, I interrogate what a reflexive concern for power relations means when researchers share moments of commonality and difference with research participants, here in relation to axes of gender, sexuality, race and class. Finally, I explore the challenge of theorising resistance in light of feminist postcolonial critiques of the politics of representation. I conclude that it is only by locating these tensions and dissonances in the foreground of our inquiries that reflexivity becomes meaningful as a way of rendering knowledge production more accountable and transparent, of practising feminist solidarity, and of excavating our own queer research journeys.

keywords

reflexivity subjectivity feminist methodologies Ghana queer embodiment 

Notes

acknowledgements

I am grateful to Martin Rew, Emma Foster and Genevieve LeBaron for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers of Feminist Review for their insightful feedback and input. All errors and shortcomings remain my responsibility.

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Copyright information

© The Feminist Review Collective 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SheffieldLondonUK

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