Research, anxiety and fantasy

April 24, 2018

I’ve recently co-authored a paper on the emotional aspects of doing research.  Research, like all work, is emotional and emotion generating and in this paper I focussed on my experience of using Grounded Theory which is a particular methodology for gathering and analysing data. The point of the paper is that the anxiety of doing research produces fantasies as a type of cover story or a way of masking the uncomfortable feeling and, paying attention to the feelings and fantasies can be really helpful in understanding the work of doing research. Our argument is that theory building can be improved by engaging directly with emotions and with fantasies that are defensively and creatively generated by the researcher. For any of you interested in reading the paper there’s an early view available here or, contact me directly.


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