An Insider Within

Reflections from Navigating Positionality during Doctoral Research on University Law Clinics




This article utilizes doctoral research on access to justice and clinical legal education to reflect on the positionality that the researcher embodies from their diverse professional affiliations. It adds a nuance to the debate on positionality by relaying it as a concentric experience. The article offers insights on navigating layered insider status through the use of reflexivity journals, removing familiarity in the interview environment and returning to the literature after fieldwork. Noting that one may still be perceived as ‘other,’ it outlines the role of go-betweens to access research participants, follow-up questions to allow for participant voices to be heard and a friendly demeanour to build rapport. The article supports training of novice researchers in reflexivity and grounded theory research as ways of facilitating rigour. It will be useful for socio-legal researchers who have a propensity to embody layered insider status from their diverse professional affiliations when researching in their own countries. 






Academic articles