“Being” a Qualitative Researcher

As qualitative researchers know, much of our work is about process. From start to finish, we are asked to pay attention to what we know, assume, and perceive, and make assertions that stay “true” to our data. We must be both planful and open to shifts and changes. We must interpret and tend to how our positionalities influence these interpretations. We must accept the limitations of language and turn around and use this same language in order to clearly and cogently communicate our findings. We must be comfortable with both the concrete and the ambiguous. The list goes on—as does the need, therefore, to tend to ourselves throughout these often-competing processes.

This 2-day workshop focuses on the tending to self that is necessary in order to continuously engage the process of "being" a qualitative researcher. We begin, on Day 1, by learning about the foundations for Vagle’s 5 principles for everyday contemplation—which 1) focus much less on WHAT and much more on WHY and HOW, and 2) involve Mind, Body, Philosophy, Energy, and Spirit. We conclude Day 1 by learning about the 5 principles:

  1. Phenomena are Always in Flux. There is Never Nothing Going On.
  2. Contexts Constantly Shape and Re-Shape Phenomena
  3. Slow Down, To Open Up
  4. Look at What We Usually Look Through
  5. See What Frames Our Seeing

In preparation for Day 2, we will each identify a challenging phenomenon we face in the process of "being" a qualitative researcher. On Day 2, we will work the 5 principles on our phenomenon. This work will integrate mind, body, philosophy, energy, and spirit. Although participants do not need to have a background in yoga and meditative practices, we will be learning and using yoga poses and postures and will be doing breath-work throughout both days.

Participants are not required to turn on their cameras, and will be reminded of this throughout the workshop.