Interpretation of Researcher Positionality in a Transnational COIL Project

Frank Hang Xu 1 * , Leena Saurwein 2

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp. 140-158

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In this paper, two authors have explored and demonstrated their own multi-dimensional positionality’ in the manner of reflectively interpreting four meaningful scenarios relating to their encountered methodological challenges in a cross-border COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) project. Throughout the construction of multi-dimensional positionality, the recognition of the subtle insider-outsider binarism encouraged these two authors to revisit the role of national cultures in the formation of researcher positionality and then to incorporate the idea of ‘simplexity’ into their understanding of the on-going positionality, which has resulted in the proposition of ‘simplex multi-dimensional positionality.’ Alluding to this concept, the two authors acknowledge the possible intervention of national cultures as their researcher positionality evolves and contend that it is the degree to which researchers tend to (not) make use of national cultures as resources that keep their positionality oscillating rather than the national cultures per se.

Keywords: multi-dimensional positionality, simplexity approach, fluidity and relatedness