Positionality, worldview and geographical research: A personal account of a research journey

Ethics, Place and Environment 5 (3):223 – 237 (2002)
Abstract
Much has been written in recent years over the need to disclose the 'positionality' of geographical researchers. At the same time, there is a growing awareness that such positionality, however much disclosed, can never fully express the complexities underpinning a research relationship. This essay explores these issues through a retrospective review of research carried out into the economic geographies of the Economy of Sharing. It argues that the issues surrounding positionality can be much more than a question of hidden agendas, power relations and conflicts of interests. In some cases, confronting positionality means negotiation of conflicting worldviews-different understandings of reality rooted in philosophical principles distant from the dominant orthodoxies. Such conflicts, if engaged in creatively, have the capacity to challenge beliefs, values and thought patterns.
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