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Story telling: is it really research?

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Abstract

Story telling: is it really research?¶ In this paper I will suggest ways in which you may consider a story as a legitimate research product. I view the story as interpreted work communicated through writing as the research product. ‘Doing’ interpretive research is not an easy option in research. In this paper I will focus upon some of the complexities in creating an acceptable and accessible research product. I will cover five interrelated areas: journaling, observing, listening, writing and rigour. The term ‘research product’ refers to the outcome of the research process. By that I mean the dissertation, the research report or the published article. The notion of legitimacy is informed by Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics which does not show us what to do, but asks us to question what is ‘going on’ while researching. In this paper I ask you to consider the entire research process as a reflexive exercise which provides answers to the question: ‘What is going on in methods?’. I claim that if the research product is well sign-posted, the readers will be able to travel easily through the worlds of the participants and makers of the story and decide for themselves whether the story is a legitimate research endeavour.

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