Exploring Researcher Positionality: Insights into Studying Doctoral Students' Educational Experiences in South Africa

  • Zama Mabel Mthombeni Human Sciences Research Council, Equitable Education & Economies, South Africa
Keywords: Qualitative Study; Positionality; Reflexivity; Doctoral Education; Fluidity


This research note presents an examination of my positionality as a doctoral student conducting a study on the work-life integration of emerging researchers in doctoral studies. Grounded in qualitative inquiry, the research delves into the impact of my individual identity as the researcher and my subjective standpoint in the process of research and comprehension of the social phenomena under scrutiny. Positionality, which encompasses personal expertise, cultural principles, power dynamics, and preconceived notions regarding research, assumes a central role in shaping the perspectives of researchers. By sharing personal reflections and insights, this paper aims to illuminate the complexities and fluidity of positionality in qualitative research. Drawing on a collection of research memoirs, I explore my positionality in studying doctoral experiences in South Africa. The paper highlights the dynamic nature of positionality, revealing shifts in the researcher's identity throughout the study and challenging the notion of a fixed researcher identity.

How to Cite
Mthombeni, Z. (2024). Exploring Researcher Positionality: Insights into Studying Doctoral Students’ Educational Experiences in South Africa. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 7(2), 100-110. https://doi.org/10.47814/ijssrr.v7i2.1841