Beyond the unobtrusive observer: Reflections on researcher-informant relationships in urban ethnography

  • Lawlor M
  • Mattingly C
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Ethnographic research involves the creation and ongoing renegotiations of relationships between researchers and informants. Prolonged engagement contributes to the com- plexity as relationships deepen and shift over time and par- ticipants accumulate a substantial reservoir of shared experiences. Reflections about the relationships we have co-constructed with informants in several research projects have contributed to our identification of several critical aspects of building and maintaining researcher–informant relationships in cross-cultural research. Aspects of relation- ship work specifically related to conducting ethnography with children, within the communities in which researchers live, and within the practice of occupational therapy are discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Qualitative method
  • Rapport

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  • Mary C. Lawlor

  • Cheryl F. Mattingly

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