Learning from the messiness of research: Reflexivity in sharing sessions with domestic migrant workers

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter deals with reflexivity in an on-going research project about the lives and experiences of Filipina and Indonesian domestic migrant workers (DMWs) in Hong Kong. It uses examples from sharing sessions with DMWs to show that the researcher is a co-constructor of the women’s narratives. The discourse excerpts, which are from the initial stages of the data collection, demonstrate the researcher’s ignorance about the participants’ lives, the focus on his own social justice agenda at the expense of the women’s personal agenda, and the naivety behind some of the questions he asked. The chapter questions the feasibility of the positivist empirical agenda in applied linguistics research and argues instead for an empowering research agenda, which acknowledges participants as co-constructors of knowledge and insists that research for and with disenfranchised groups needs to be shared beyond the community of scholars: with the people who help develop the knowledge, and with other potential beneficiaries outside academia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReflexivity in Applied Linguistics:
Subtitle of host publicationOpportunities, Challenges, and Suggestions
EditorsSal Consoli, Sara Ganassin
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781003149408
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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