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Negotiating emotions, rethinking otherness in suburban Melbourne
journal contributionposted on 2010-02-01, 00:00 authored by Michele Lobo
I argue that research that tries to makes sense of emotion provides a better understanding of the politics and ethics of doing face-to-face research. Reflecting on in-depth interviews with people who live and/or work in Dandenong, an outer suburban area of Melbourne, I draw attention to the emotional dimensions of the research process. In particular I focus on moments when the exercise of white privilege made it difficult to negotiate emotions. These were moments when the intersection of my ethnicity with my position as a new settler in Dandenong made me feel excluded. The outcome was that I found it hard to value the voice of participants who were eager to help me with my research. A critical reflection of the emotions produced during such interpersonal encounters, however, has enabled me to rethink moments when the Self/Other binary unintentionally emerged. Critical self-reflexivity that is attentive to emotions gave me the opportunity to move closer to my goal of being an ethical researcher.