Document Type : Methodological Paper


1 MA Student in Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Free Researcher, Gender Studies, Tehran, Iran

3 BA in Philosophy, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper puts emphasis on the necessity of discussing positionality in qualitative research methods, especially ethnography. Evaluating a qualitative study requires the reader to get information about the researcher's positionality with respect to their various social identities (like gender, race, class, ethnicity, ability, geographical location etc and with their intentions for doing the fieldwork, their feelings and emotions, and their relationships with the informants. This paper ties to analyze eight published papers and one book based on qualitative and ethnographic studies in the Iranian society. It examines the harms and consequences of ‌ failure in discussing a researcher's positionality by applying a critical ethnographic and reflexive approach. Indeed, the paper analyzes the writers' use of language, their reasoning for doing the research and the reflexive discussion of their positionality while doing the research and later in writing a research report. It argues that not observing the reflective approach in research and concealing the researcher's positionality deprives the reader of the possibility of identifying possible bias. The paper also discusses two other consequences that are more recognizable in academic writing in Iran: "Self-heroism" display of research. Consequently, instead of clarifying their intentions and understanding the field and its relations, researchers solve problems and offer quick solutions.


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