Negotiating professional and social voices in research principles and practice
This paper draws on work conducted for a qualitative interview based study which explores the gendered racialised and professional identifications of health and social care professionals. Participants for the project were drawn from the professional executive committees of recently formed Primary Care Trusts. The paper discusses how the feminist psychosocial methodological approach developed for the project is theoretically, practically and ethically useful in exploring the voices of those in positions of relative power in relation to both health and social care services and the social relations of gender and ethnicity. The approach draws on psychodynamic accounts of (defended) subjectivity and the feminist work of Carol Gilligan on a voice-centred relational methodology. Coupling the feminist with the psychosocial facilitates an emphasis on voice and dialogic communication between participant and researcher not always captured in psychosocial approaches which tend towards favouring the interviewer as ‘good listener’. This emphasis on dialogue is important in research contexts where prior and ongoing relationships with professional participants make it difficult and indeed undesirable for researchers to maintain silence.
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