Know Thyself: Culture and Identity in Comparative Research

  • Nigel BagnallEmail author
Part of the Methodos Series book series (METH, volume 9)


Undertaking comparative research is a risky business. The researcher is often working in a foreign country or making comparisons outside the comfort of their own culture. Making bad or good assumptions based on perceived cultural differences can bring any study unstuck. As Kathleen Hall eloquently states ‘In the field of education, questions of identity, identification, and culture figure centrally within a range of debates, controversies and innovations.’ This chapter extends Welch’s discussion in Chapter 17 and looks at the role of the individual researcher who may have the best intentions but realise the worst outcomes. It discusses a number of key points that comparative scholars should consider when undertaking research in other countries and argues that comparative researchers need to develop intercultural sensitivity and critical cultural reflection of their work.


Cultural Identity High School Certificate Minority White Population Intercultural Sensitivity National Cultural Difference 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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