The subjective is flourishing in qualitative inquiry and social research. Numerous books, professional journals, and academic conferences devote time and space to topics tied to subjectivity (e.g., personal experience, identity, reflexivity), and discussions about subjectivity in qualitative inquiry have become common in many research studies and settings.
The goal of this workshop is to examine the importance and use of subjectivity in qualitative inquiry and social research, and, in particular, to show how subjectivity can make more complex and accessible social research possible. On the first day we will examine the history of subjectivity in qualitative inquiry and outline the purposes of including subjectivity in social research. On day two, we will investigate the possible ways to write subjectivity into research reports as well as possible ethical issues tied to using subjectivity in research. We will conclude by discussing ways in which concepts such as generalizability, reliability, and validity might apply to research that uses subjectivity and how to address criticism deployed at/toward research that embraces subjectivity. Both days will include many examples of and dilemmas in including subjectivity in research. Ample time will be provided for participants’ questions about and experiences with including subjectivity in research.