Insider Research with Family Members Who Have a Member Living with Rare Cancer

Jan Foster

Abstract


In this article the author explores insider research in relation to family members facing a diagnosis of rare cancer, using her experiences as one such family member undertaking doctoral research into journeys similar to hers. The “insider” issue is explored through three realms: the ethical realm, including issues of “fitness” to undertake the research; the methodological realm, including how data are obtained and used; and the trustworthiness realm, including research rigor. The exploration of her insider experiences includes personal challenges in relation to facing familiar emotionally charged experiences, insights gained as a result of her insider status, and her ability to join with participants in ways that might not be possible for an outsider. In the paper the author challenges taken-for-granted assumptions that trustworthiness can be assured only from the position of “objective” researcher. Rather, this analysis places knowledge gained through the processes and products of research as constituted and contextualized.

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