Khawaja, Iram, and Line Lerche Mørck. ‘Researcher Positioning: Muslim “Otherness” and Beyond’. (2009)

Khawaja, Iram, and Line Lerche Mørck. ‘Researcher Positioning: Muslim “Otherness” and Beyond’. Qualitative Research in Psychology, vol. 6, no. 1–2, Routledge, June 2009, pp. 28–45.

This article focuses on the complex and multilayered process of researcher positioning, specifically in relation to the politically sensitive study of marginalised and “othered” groups such as Muslims living in Denmark. We discuss the impact of different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds, of membership in a minoritised 1 or majoritised group, and the influence of different theoretical and methodological outlooks on our common goal of trying to transcend existing othering and objectifying representations of Muslims in Western societies. This process sometimes entails a direct political and personal involvement by the researcher, which challenges traditional perspectives on research and researcher positioning. A key point in this regard is the importance of constant awareness of and reflection on the multiple ways in which one’s positioning as a researcher influences the research process. Studying the other calls for close reflections on one’s own position, theoretically, personally, and politically, taking into account one’s complicity in either overcoming or reproducing processes of othering and marginalisation. 1We use the term (ethnic) minoritised not as a distinction with numerical proportions but rather related to societal power relations (Phoenix 2001, p. 128).