Feminist Internet Research Is Messy
Abstract: Feminist internet research is messy and conducting meta-research on feminist internet research is even messier. This is a critically reflective article on the author’s experience conducting a meta-research project on the feminist internet research methodologies and ethical frameworks of the eight Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN) research projects. The piece argues that the messiness of research is not something to shy away from but rather to embrace.
Mess and messiness are that which are often cleaned up, hidden, discarded or outright ignored before, during or after the research process. This article explores the messiness of conducting a meta-research project, reflecting on the research process; doing justice to the stories that are shared; and lastly, what critique means in light of feminist ethics of care. I put forward three recommendations for engaging with mess in research: reflexivity; reaching out to others; and embracing messiness as care. This article is no way exhaustive but is a call to invite and bravely embrace the messy into the research process in order to elicit new knowledge.
Keywords: Feminism; internet research; messy research; meta-research
‘I know research has always been messy… And it’s a challenge to address it and work it out in your theory, that dimension.’1
The Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN) is a research project that has sought to contribute to the field of internet research from a feminist perspective with a key focus of informing and influencing activism and policy-making. As an aspect of the FIRN project, a meta-research project was conducted to focus on the methodological processes and ethical practices of eight research projects, which were implemented under FIRN. In this article, I discuss the ‘messy’ process of doing a meta-research project on feminist internet research projects.
I present and discuss two key themes or areas of messiness that seem to emerge in this project: (1) feminist research process and (2) doing justice to stories shared. Within the section on process, I reflect on the messiness of my research process, as well as some of the messiness that the FIRN research partners2 encountered. Within the section on doing justice to stories shared, I discuss the conflict that I and research partners experienced in analysing stories from our participants, and wanting as best as possible to do justice to what they shared with us. This discussion includes the importance of critique as a form of care. Lastly, I make recommendations for embracing the messiness of research.
Feminist Internet Research Network
The Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN) is a three-and-a-half-year collaborative and multidisciplinary research project led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). FIRN aims to build an emerging field of internet research with a feminist approach to inform and influence activism and policy-making. FIRN’s focus has been on the making of a feminist internet as critical to bringing about transformation of gendered structures of power that exist online and onground. Projects within FIRN strive to bring about change in policy, law, and in internet rights discourse through data-driven and evidence-based feminist research, with a core focus being to ensure that women, gender diverse and queer people and their needs are included in internet policy discussions and decision-making. Key areas of research of the FIRN projects are: access (usage and infrastructure); big data and its impact on vulnerable populations; online gender-based violence; and gendered labour in the digital economy.
FIRN conducted a meta-research project that focussed on methodological processes and ethical practices of the eight research projects implemented under FIRN.
Meta-research is the study of research—including its methods, how research is reported and evaluated—in order to understand and improve on research and research processes.3 The meta-research project formed part of the broader FIRN project and sought to research and analyse the methodological processes and ethical practices of the eight research projects implemented under the broader project.
The meta-research project created a feminist space for dialogue to explore the complexities of doing internet research through the critical exploration of the research methodological processes and ethical practices of the FIRN research projects. From the very beginning, the meta-research project understood that research on the internet is complex and that current methodological approaches and research tools are not sufficiently reflexive enough to account for ‘feminist thinking around dynamics of power, politics of location, relationship with participants, access to digital data and so on.’4
So, why do I say meta-research on feminist internet research is messier than feminist internet research? Because it not only seeks to understand the methodological processes of the feminist internet research projects but also takes into consideration the process of doing a feminist internet research meta-research project. This entails considering both the messiness of the individual research projects and also the messiness of the meta-research project in relation to the messiness of the other projects.
For instance, while the overarching focus of FIRN was on the making of a feminist internet as critical to bringing about transformation of gendered structures of power that exist online and onground, the individual projects within the network addressed various areas. Key areas of research of the FIRN projects are access (usage and infrastructure); big data and its impact on vulnerable populations; online gender-based violence; and gendered labour in the digital economy. The meta-research project needed to account for the individual projects while also bringing these projects into conversation with each other.
Research is ‘a very ‘messy process,’5 and this messiness is not often spoken or written about in research. What we often find in research reports is an oversimplification, or, in fact, a masking of the messiness ‘into more easily manageable, compartmentalised, dichotomous ways of thinking.’6 But it is this messiness that could be the most instructive aspect of the research process.7 When describing their research to others informally, researchers ‘invariably recount being “in a mess” at some point.’8 While it is discussed informally, the mess is largely missing from the published works. Cook believes that the reason for the absence of a discussion is because ‘mess tends to have connotations of being sloppy, of not being a good researcher.’9 It is this possibility that may prevent researchers from being vulnerable and speaking to the mess of their own research processes. Women, gender diverse, and feminist researchers may particularly strive to mask this aspect of their work due to how these groups are perceived in a field dominated by cisgender men.
But the messy aspects of research should remain visible in order to ‘encourage and instruct’ fellow researchers and students ‘to persist and problem solve mid-process.’10 More often than not, mess in research is treated as a failing, not as simply part of the process and an opportunity to learn and/or build on knowledge. As researchers, we need to begin to shift our thinking around the messy aspects of research, to see them not as negative but as positive and productive.11
The question that needs to be asked is: what counts as mess in research? That which we clean up, hide, discard, or ignore in our writing up of our research process. For instance, digitally surveying a population and only gaining responses from those with smart phones, which would mean that the study overlooked an access to technology gap. Or perhaps conducting a focus group of women but their husbands or guardians will not let them participate in the study unless men are present. This would impact the kind of data one could collect.
Messiness can also be needing to adjust a research design to better suit the needs and availability of participants or adjusting the research problem and questions; it can be a pause in the research, grappling with analysis, or institutional influence over the study. A researcher’s own positionality may impact on the research project and require that they critically and reflexively engage with this in order to understand how they may be influencing their study. Messiness in research is all of that which does not follow a clear and linear path, and which we often clean up as researchers so that the final research report may be presented as clear, rigorous, and legitimate.
The obsession with cleaning up the research processes, or presenting what Cook calls ‘a neat model of research’12 limits the knowledge presented and sees researchers ‘reporting what fits rather than what is or finding out what could be.’13 Instead, the messy in research should be ‘invit[ed] and allow[ed],’14 and understood as part of the research process and a legitimate aspect of knowledge building. Messiness ‘does not signify lazy behaviour’ but rather that what is underway in the research process is ‘serious critique.’15 Cook firmly believes that ‘for rigorous research to take place, researchers need to both create and delve into the “messy area”.’16 This could include, for instance, the researcher considering the influence their positionality has over the research, which is then critically explored in the research process.
What is being proposed here is that researchers allow themselves to engage with that which is outside of the ‘neat model’ of doing research, and to recognise that this is where the possibility for new knowledge lies: where things are not clear and simple.
Feminist Internet Research Is Messy
The process of doing meta-research on feminist internet research is complex, layered and messy. When doing research on research, the lines blur between literature, theories and methodologies. The meta-research project aimed to explore the methodological processes and research practices of the FIRN projects. What emerged in thinking about the research project and in doing the analysis of data was just how messy feminist research is and how very human it is.
The messiness of feminist research has much to do with the nature of the work: deep listening (to the participants, to the self); reflexivity; the critiquing, awareness, seeking out, and troubling of power and hegemonic positions. What adds to this messiness is the rub of traditional approaches to research that ask for the objective, neutral and value-free presentation of things as they are. Things are ‘not as they are’; what is presented is through the lens of the researcher writing, the institution, organisation, or other interest groups. This filters through to the way data is collected, analysed, written up, the ways that findings are distributed, and used again and again to inform more research done in this same way. This meta-research project is a means of acknowledging this—that research is done this way and that people come to rely on what already exists.
One common aspect of feminist research is reflexive practice, which includes how the researchers and research partners experience the process.17 In my own process of writing this article, I found the identification of the themes to be challenging. As others have written, the researcher holds a particular power over the data they’re analysing.18 They have influence over what will be considered significant enough to be offered up as part of the overall discussion. And what is not discussed.
I recognise this in my own deliberations over which themes to discuss in this article. I opted for two themes that could speak to doing feminist research and may be encountered by researchers—feminist research process and doing justice to stories that are shared. I am going to focus on these two aspects of messiness that emerged from my messy process of writing this article, in engaging in the meta-research process, and what was shared with me by the FIRN research partners. Any other two themes may have been as significant as the ones I have selected, which is something to be considered when doing feminist research.
Theme One: Feminist Research Process
In the case of feminist internet research, the theoretical or conceptual frameworks are sometimes pieced together from different fields; much of internet research is transdisciplinary. If there is a feminist internet research methodology, one of our partners reflected that: ‘It would be in the framing of the research.’19
The meta-research project is a feminist research project and positioned within an interpretivist paradigm. Like feminist research, interpretivism proposes that no research is objective or value-free; instead, it places the emphasis on exploring research participants’ meaning-making and perceptions.20 This creates the space for acknowledging and recognising power, politics of location,21 and the researchers’ relationships with participants.
In addition to feminist research, the meta-research project drew on grounded theory as a methodology which places emphasis on theory emerging from the data.22 I collected data through document analysis and interviews and then analysed the data using thematic analysis. Through a thematic analysis, I sorted, categorised, and analysed the data to reveal the themes that emerged from the data set. These themes were then further analysed in order to generate knowledge on the methodological processes and ethical practices of the FIRN projects. While this sounds simple enough, it was not. The messiness of this process is lost in the writing up of the research report.23
From the proposal, it seemed very clear what I was looking for. However, when I began conducting a deeper literature review and started to try to identify a theoretical framework, I found myself experiencing something quite odd: not knowing what was methodology, literature, or theory. Some of the texts I was reading could be spread across all three because, after all, I was doing a meta-research study on feminist internet research. It was a confusing position to find myself in. It led to some doubts about my ability as a researcher, but I have also learned in my time as a researcher to reach out to peers when this sort of incident occurs.
This moment of mess was worked through with colleagues and research peers, mapping what counted as literature to be reviewed or articles to inform the methodology of the meta-research project. I understood that it was a challenge and that working through this challenge with others could provide a richer understanding of doing meta-research and some of the challenges that one may encounter in a project of such a nature.
The instinct in writing up research is to neaten the mess or remove that which does not fit. Or that which is uncomfortable. Even now, as I write this, I am considering removing this reflection from the article because I do not feel that I am adequately explaining it or that it seems so empty in comparison to the experience—but this is why we should write and reflect on the messiness of research. Because someone else may be going through a very similar experience but cannot find examples of research writings that reveal this mess.
FIRN research partner three had a similar experience and shared with me that their methodology in the write up of their draft report reads that they set out to do in-depth interviews and case focus groups. But it was not that simple. They said: ‘That’s what will come across to the readers of the findings but on the ground, a lot of it was developing as the project went along.’24 They shared that for them the research process ‘required a lot of improvisation on our part.’25
Partner two experienced messiness at the ethics approval stage of their project, explaining that in one country, ‘approval took us a year and a half.’26 Expanding on the process of getting approval, they said:
‘They [the ethics board] didn’t have a template of what we wanted so we just had to write a proposal and every month they would sit and come back and ask us for something different, every month! … And they always wanted us to mail it physically… Four copies of this proposal every time.’27
Another partner shared how they had joined the research team after the proposal had been finalised, and that for them ‘it was messy [laughs], especially for me having to accept it the way it was organised in the first place.’28
Partner four spent a great deal of time having discussions with their colleagues and the FIRN team to understand the conceptualisation of their project and reviewing the project proposal itself, all while grappling with their sense of how they would have gone about doing the project. Partner four added that even though they joined the project team after the proposal had been finalised that FIRN did manage to include ‘some suggestions of mine in order to be able to do it myself better.’29 These discussions and decisions that are made during the feminist research process can be considered to be the researcher’s labour—that is, the work that is expected of a researcher but is not necessarily accounted for in discussions on doing research. This includes, for instance, the decisions made throughout the research process, whether they are design or methodological choices, adjustments to the research questions, administrative or logistical matters, and which themes to highlight or literature to incorporate.
Another aspect of the labour of doing research includes managing expectations. Several expectations exist when one sets out to do a research project: some of them are your own, or belong to your team, the donors, or the research participants themselves. Speaking to the partners and through my own experiences of conducting the meta-research project, this was a common experience.
The messiness of the research process is encapsulated quite nicely by partner seven here:
‘We had this kind of ideal framework in our heads because we put a lot of energy into critiquing all this stuff and this is really necessary. But we don’t find this perfect world to build this, so we had to deal with a lot of contradictions in ourselves, in the community, in other relations that we have. And I think that this at some points can be a little messy. It can get a bit confusing and sometimes we need some days to process a contradiction or to deal with something that we just noticed about ourselves or other people that we are working with.’30
I experienced a similar thing in conducting the meta-research project. I had proposed grounded theory as the methodology to inform the research project of producing a meta-research study on the FIRN projects. Grounded theory endeavours to develop theory that is grounded in data, in particular theory that can be applied practically.31 Researchers do not begin the research process with a set theory in mind but rather an area of study, such as feminist research methodologies processes and ethical practices employed when doing feminist internet research. When analysing the data collected, the grounded theory approach allows the emergence of patterns, connections, themes and, ultimately, a theory.32 Theories, then, unfold through seeking to understand the themes and relationships between themes.
This is a very messy approach to research, and I set about it by interviewing research partners, analysing the data, and sitting with the data-theme-patterns for weeks. My first presentation of the draft analysis of the first round of data was long, and it was a challenge to imagine how to group the themes that had emerged. Through conversations with the FIRN team, and in looking repeatedly to the data, we decided on the four pillars of feminist internet research: standpoint, intersectionality, reflexivity, and feminist ethics of care.
At the time, it seemed impossible to sort the various themes into four categories. But through conversations with the FIRN team and unpacking the themes further, this became easier. There were many themes that did not fit well into the four pillars, so we identified a fifth pillar that informs feminist internet research: difference.
At the time of analysing the data and the themes, I was frustrated with how I had approached the analysis and the challenge presented in sorting the multitude of themes into four core pillars (and later a fifth). The experience was a lesson in working with research partners and coordinators and being open to the emergence of broader themes. It was also a reminder to be flexible enough to introduce an additional theme because the data was too rich to discard and spoke clearly to the experiences of doing feminist internet research.
Reflecting now on mess, I can see how if I had approached this as an inevitable aspect of research, I would not have viewed it as a personal failing but as, first and foremost, an opportunity for growth. Much of my experience here was rooted in wanting to do justice to what the research partners had shared with me. In our conversations, I found another overlap, which is the second theme in this article: doing justice to stories that are shared.
Theme Two: Doing Justice to Stories Shared
My experience of this project was mirrored back to me by partners when they spoke of wanting to honour their participants’ stories, recognising that what their participants shared with them about their lived experiences as precious. I speak of this desire as wanting to do justice to their participants’ stories. I also recognise that justice is a word with multiple and weighted connotations. For the purposes of this article, I understand it to be a means of recognising the significance of what a participant has offered to share with the researcher and wanting to honour this telling.
Partner four felt that the report length did not provide the space for the ‘valuable information’ of the ‘personal stories’33 that the participants shared. For this partner, including the participants’ stories was about doing justice to their stories and what they had shared with them. For partner four, including participants’ stories was a way …
‘To give opportunity to queer people, and victims of gender-based violence to share their stories… Each of their stories deserves to be made anonymous and then be published, it would be very useful for the main discourse on these matters, and now we keep it for ourselves in our files, which is really a pity for me.’34
I felt a similar thing with the interviews I had with research partners: that there was just so much data, and I wanted to find a way to keep it all in the report. Much of this, I feel, had to do with the connection I experienced with the partners in interviewing them, wanting to keep their stories as close to the original sharing as possible, and feeling in some way that if I were to edit them or discard parts of the interview, I would not be just to the partners. This was mirrored back to me when partner six shared that they had experienced difficulty in ‘organising their experiences’35 and that
‘When I first started writing and drafting the report because the stories were so precious to me and I was so conscious of the power as a researcher to a point where I actually paralysed myself from giving my own analysis.’36
This resulted in their first draft being descriptive more than analytical, as they grappled with bringing analysis to the content that had been shared with them. They continued:
‘I was fixated on presenting their stories as to this that I couldn’t quite see the key patterns here. After feedback on the first draft and several conversations with other feminists, the pieces came together for me.’37
This research partner held back from adding an analytical lens to their participants’ sharing, but through consultation with others, such as the FIRN team, they found a way to work through this challenge. They were encouraged to ‘step in and own the power.’38They shared that this was a challenge in and of itself because
‘I think in our work we are always fighting against the status quo; we are trying to shift the power dynamics. But when we are the position of power, I felt embarrassed to exercise that power.’39
Feminist researchers often shy away from issues around power or set about ensuring that they do not mimic power hierarchies.40 But power imbalances in research are inevitable, and what matters is how we think about the power we possess and that we come from a space of care when enacting this power. Care itself does not mean to be without critique. In my own experience of my meta-research project analysis, I found that I was being ‘too nice’ in holding back from incorporating critique. But in writing this article and in conversation with FIRN, I have come to realise that critique can also be care. In holding back and not offering up critique, we may be at risk of encouraging things to go on as they have always been when our research perspectives are sometimes necessary for growth and continued knowledge building. In trying to hold on too tightly to what our research participants have shared with us, or holding back on our analysis or critique, we are at risk of doing injustice to what has been offered up as part of a larger project. I am not saying we dispense with our ethical practices: those must always be present, but we need to think of care not as nice and soft and timid, but as also being critical and rigorous in our analysis of data.
These are brief examples of mess and how it is not something that is absent from the research process. In integrating mess into our thinking processes, we include it as a serious aspect of research and not as a result of sloppy or lazy work. Mess is ever-present and can appear at any stage, all stages; it can be the result of us muddling through a problem or it can the result of external factors like the lengthy ethics clearance process. It is important that we prepare for mess, that we acknowledge that it will present itself as some point in the research journey, and that it is not the result of a failing on our part. I make three recommendations for embracing the messiness in the research process.
Feminist internet research can benefit from engaging with the messiness of doing research. Considering the experiences shared and discussed above, I propose three recommendations for engaging with mess: be reflexive; reach out to others; and embrace messiness as care.
- Be reflexive
Eldén calls for reflexivity in research, which is accepting of the messiness of the research process.41 Reflexivity as a practice acknowledges that the research and the research ethical practices are shaped by the researcher’s values and understanding of the world.42 This includes shying away from what is uncomfortable. Chadwick writes on the importance of discomfort in research and how ‘discomfort is an important part of reflexive and critical qualitative research practices.’43 Their core argument is that if we shy away from discomfort, ‘we miss valuable opportunities to contextualize the complexities of knowledge production and be accountable for our research.’44
- Reach Out to Others
Researchers may regularly experience messiness in their research process and might be unsure of what to do about the challenges it presents to them. In such an instance, the recommendation would be to encourage researchers to reach out to their research team, peers, or colleagues, and to create the space for dialogue, to present the problem at hand, and to work collaboratively on a solution. Once researchers open up about their experiences with messy research processes, they may find that many others will feel comfortable to discuss their experiences. This could perhaps be a path towards discovering solutions.
For instance, I had shared at a conference with the FIRN research partners that doing research was a messy process. Partner six in one of our interviews after this convening shared how that was an ‘aha moment’45 for them. They said:
‘These things happened to me, and I didn’t quite understand what happened until the FIRN convening and your presentations and when you said that research is messy because humans are messy. That completely makes sense to me because I have redone the research three times the way I categorise the patterns, the trends, the analysis. And even then, it wasn’t quite right, and I was so fixated on trying to fix them into categories and it makes things really complicated for me.’46
In sharing our experiences, we are able to assist other researchers through their own messy research processes. We are also able to understand that the mess of research is inevitable and that it is not something that need cause a state of distress, but should rather be seen as part of knowledge production.
- Embrace Messiness as Care
Feminist research ethics are informed by feminist values and emphasises ‘care and responsibility rather than outcomes.’47 An ethics of care creates space for emotionally engaged research that shows concern for participants, the outcomes of the research, and care for the researcher.48 This makes it possible for researchers to do emotionally engaged feminist research.49 An ethics of care asks researchers to lean into the difficult questions and to note that ‘confronting feelings of discomfort is key to enacting ethical modes of interpretive practice.’50
Cook argues for articulating the messy aspect of research. One of the reasons they state is that by not sharing our experiences of messiness in research, we ‘may undermine the confidence of researchers who find themselves “in a mess”.’51 Here, we can consider that presenting the messiness of our research process and experiences is, in fact, an act of care for other researchers. It helps researchers to know that they are not alone with these trouble spots or problems in their research.
Sitting with the messiness of research is not easy, but hiding that messiness misrepresents the research process. Embracing it ought to be considered fundamental to doing feminist research and something that is taken into consideration from the outset of a research project. It is through accepting and embracing a state of mess that we are able to embark on new directions in our knowledge production that can be truly transformative in challenging the way we do research, as well as what we deem to be neat and clean processes. Through reflexivity, reaching out to peers, and considering messiness as an act of care, these recommendations may be able to assist researchers in leaning into the discomfort of mess and understanding it as key to doing rigorous research.
- Association for Progressive Communication – Women’s Rights Programme, Feminist Internet Ethical Research Practices. In GenderIT. April 19, 2019. https://www.genderit.org/resources/feminist-internet-ethical-research-practices.
- Blakely, K., ‘Reflections on the Role of Emotion in Feminist Research.’ In International Journal of Qualitative Methods 6.2 (2007): pp. 59-68.
- Bloyce, D., ‘Research Is a Messy Process: A Case Study of a Figurational Sociology Approach to Conventional Issues in Social Science Research Methods.’ In Graduate Journal of Social Science, vol. 1 (2004): pp. 144-166.
- Chadwick, R., ‘Reflecting on Discomfort in Research.’ In LSE Impact Blog. February 24, 2021. Accessed 30 March 2021. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2021/02/24/reflecting-on-discomfort-in-research/.
- Clark, C., Brody, M., Dillon, J., Hart, P., and Heimlich, J., ‘The Messy Process of Research: Dilemmas, Process, and Critique.’ In Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 12 (2007): pp 110-126.
- Cook, T., ‘The Purpose of Mess in Action Research: Building Rigour though a Messy Turn.’ In Educational Action Research 17.2 (2009): pp. 277-291.
- Edwards, R. and Mauthner, M., ‘Ethics and Feminist Research: Theory and Practice.’ In Miller, Tina, Birch, Maxine, Mauthner, Melanie and Jessop, Julie (eds.) Ethics in Qualitative Research. Second edition. London: SAGE Publications, 2012.
- Eldén, S., ‘Inviting the Messy: Drawing Methods and “Children’s Voices”.’ In Childhood 20.1 (2012): pp 66-81.
- Esim, S., ‘Can Feminist Methodology Reduce Power Hierarchies in Research Settings?’ In Feminist Economics 3.2 (1997): pp. 137-139.
- Fouché, C.B. and Schurink, W., ‘Qualitative Research Designs.’ In De Vos, A.S., Strydom, H., Fouché, C.B., and Delport, C.S.L. (Eds). Research at Grass Roots: For the Social Sciences and Human Service Professions. 2011. Pp. 307-327.
- Gringeri, C.E., Wahab, S., Anderson-Nathe, E., ‘What Makes it Feminist?: Mapping the Landscape of Feminist Social Work Research.’ In Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 25.4 (2010): pp. 390-405.
- Hesse-Biber, S.N. (Ed.), Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2007.
- Ioannidis, J.P.A., ‘Meta-research: Why Research on Research Matters.’ In PLoS Biol 16.3 (2018): e2005468.
- McKenna, S., ‘A Critical Investigation into Discourses that Construct Academic Literacy at the Durban Institute of Technology.’ Doctoral thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 2004.
- Nieuwenhuis, J., ‘Qualitative Research Designs and Data Gathering Techniques.’ In K. Maree (Ed.), First Steps in Research. Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers, 2011. Pp. 70-97.
- Preissle, J., ‘Feminist Research Ethics.’ In S. N. Hesse-Biber (Ed.), The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2007. Pp. 515-32.
- Reid, C., Tom, A. and Frisby, W., ‘Finding the “Action” in Feminist Participatory Action Research.’ In Action Research 4.3 (2006): pp. 315-332.
- Rich, A., Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979 – 1985. Norton, New York, 1986.
Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN) research partner one in interview two.
Research partners’ identities have been anonymised and are referred to by numbers, i.e., partner one, partner two, and so forth.
J.P.A. Ioannidis, ‘Meta-research: Why Research on Research Matters,’ PLoS Biol 16.3 (2018): e2005468.
Feminist Internet Research Network, https://www.apc.org/en/project/firn-feminist-internet-research-network.
D. Bloyce, ‘Research Is a Messy Process: A Case Study of a Figurational Sociology Approach to Conventional Issues in Social Science Research Methods,’ in Graduate Journal of Social Science vol. 1, no. 1 (2004), p. 145.
Bloyce 2004. p. 164.
Clark, Brody, Dillon, Hart, and Heimlich, ‘The Messy Process of Research: Dilemmas, Process, and Critique,’ in Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 12 (2007): pp. 110-126.
T. Cook, ‘The Purpose of Mess,’ in Action Research: Building Rigour Though a Messy Turn, Educational Action Research 17.2 (2009), p. 279.
Clark, Brody, Dillon, Hart, and Heimlich 2007, p.110
Cook 2009, p.289.
S. Eldén, ‘Inviting the Messy: Drawing Methods and “Children’s Voices”,’ in Childhood 20.1 (2012), p. 78.
Cook 2009, p. 285.
Cook 2009. p. 289.
C. Reid, A. Tom, and W. Frisby, ‘Finding the “Action” in Feminist Participatory Action Research,’ in Action Research vol. 4, no.3 (2006): pp. 315-332.
C.E. Gringeri, S. Wahab, B. Anderson-Nathe, ‘What Makes it Feminist?: Mapping the Landscape of Feminist Social Work Research,’ in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work vol. 25, no. 4 (2010): pp. 390-405; S. N. Hesse-Biber, Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2007).
FIRN partner five in interview one.
J. Nieuwenhuis, ‘Qualitative Research Designs and Data Gathering Techniques,’ in K. Maree (Ed.), First Steps in Research (Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers, 2011), pp. 70-97; S. McKenna, ‘A Critical Investigation into Discourses that Construct Academic Literacy at the Durban Institute of Technology,’ Doctoral thesis, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 2004, p. 35.
‘Politics of location’ is a term coined by Adrienne Rich which troubles how women’s experiences are presented as universal, and instead Rich argues that it is critical to account for the situatedness of knowledge production. In A. Rich, Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose, 1979-1985 (New York: Norton, 1986).
C.B. Fouché and W. Schurink, 2011. ‘Qualitative Research Designs,’ in A.S. De Vos, H. Strydom, C.B. Fouché, and C.S.L. Delport (Eds.), Research at Grass Roots: For the Social Sciences and Human Service Professions, 2011, p. 310.
Bloyce 2004, pp. 144-166.
FIRN partner three in interview two.
FIRN partner two in interview two.
FIRN partner four in interview two.
FIRN partner seven in interview two
Fouché and Schurink 2011, p. 318.
Ibid, p. 319.
FIRN partner four in interview one
FIRN partner six in interview two
Gringeri et al. 2010, pp. 390-405; Hesse-Biber 2007; S. Esim, ‘Can Feminist Methodology Reduce Power Hierarchies,’ in Research Settings? Feminist Economics, vol. 3, no. 2 (1997): pp. 137-139.
Eldén 2012, p. 67.
R. Edwards and M. Mauthner, ‘Ethics and Feminist Research: Theory and Practice,’ in Tina Miller, Maxine Birch, Melanie Mauthner, and Julie Jessop (eds.), Ethics in Qualitative Research, second edition (London, United Kingdom. SAGE Publications, 2012), p. 19.
R. Chadwick, ‘Reflecting on Discomfort in Research,’ in LSE Impact Blog, February 24, 2021, accessed March 30, 2021, https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2021/02/24/reflecting-on-discomfort-in-research/.
FIRN partner six in interview two.
Edwards and Mauthner 2012, p.19.
J. Preissle, ‘Feminist Research Ethics,’ in S. N. Hesse-Biber (Ed.), The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2007), pp. 515-32; K. Blakely, ‘Reflections on the Role of Emotion in Feminist Research’ in International Journal of Qualitative Methods 6.2. (2007): pp. 59-68.