Emotions and Reflexivity in Health & Social Care Field Research

  • Helen T. Allan
  • Anne Arber

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Helen T. Allan, Anne Arber
    Pages 1-11
  3. Kit Tapson
    Pages 95-115
  4. Nicola Ayers
    Pages 117-132
  5. Ginny Mounce
    Pages 133-158
  6. Helen T. Allan, Anne Arber, Nicola Ayers, Tam Chipawe Cane, Sarah Li, Ginny Mounce et al.
    Pages 159-165
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 167-170

About this book


This book is about emotions and reflexivity when doing field research in health and social care settings. Health and social care students often undertake field research in their own area of practice using observation and interviews. Chapters draw on research carried out in a number of fields including HIV related infertility and adoption, primary care in Africa, cancer and palliative care, infertility and excluded young people to explore issues relevant to emotions and reflexivity from the perspective of the researcher and research participants. All contributing authors have a dual identity as researchers and health or social care professionals. The book was born of the two editors, who are experienced research supervisors, observing that many PhD students struggle to manage the emotions elicited in the field when researching. They identify three main causes - health and social care deals with painful topics; observation and interviews bring student into contact with powerful feelings which need processing; there is very little advice and discussion of how a PhD student manages emotions in the field and students therefore frequently struggle on their own. This insightful volume will be of great interest to scholars and students in all areas of academic study, but particularly to those who chose to study health and social care whether they are professionals or not.


Medical Sociology Research Methods mental health illness healthcare social care field research emotion work reflexivity research diaries emotional involvement in research Academic reflexivity Ethical dilemmas in health research Counselling Ethnography Phenomenology

Editors and affiliations

  • Helen T. Allan
    • 1
  • Anne Arber
    • 2
  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of SurreyGuildfordUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-65502-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-65503-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site