Experiences of an Insider in Qualitative Research: My Doctoral Research Journey in a Public University, Kenya

  • Juliet Njeri Muasya, PhD University of Nairobi
Keywords: Counselling, Experiences, Ethical Concerns, Insider Researcher, Outsider Researcher, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research
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Qualitative researchers position themselves more as ‘insiders’ than ‘outsiders’ due to the nature of the research paradigm. In this paper, I will present and discuss my role and experiences as an insider researcher during my doctorate research journey. I begin by exploring the debate surrounding the role of an insider in qualitative research, in addition to highlighting key arguments within the literature, while reflecting on my personal experiences as a PhD candidate. In particular personal experiences that made the researcher play the role of an ‘insider’ more as compared to an ‘outsider’ researcher will be discussed. The first part of this paper will cover the conceptualisation of the terms ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’. This will be followed by a discussion and presentation of key discourses based on the role of an ‘insider’ in qualitative research. Being an insider researcher, I was able to access research institutions to collect data without having to organise ‘settling in’, which made it possible to collect data every day of the week at any time of the day, thus providing continuity in the data collection process. More so, I was able to control the research process by using stories, voice, and transcripts. Since it was a sensitive study, as an insider researcher, I did consider ethical concerns and the importance of counselling the participants. Challenges based on the risk of insider struggling between their role as a group member and a researcher are presented. In addition, the delicate balancing that the researcher engaged in while deciding how much of the insider information is to be shared with the participants is discussed


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28 February, 2023
How to Cite
Muasya, J. (2023). Experiences of an Insider in Qualitative Research: My Doctoral Research Journey in a Public University, Kenya. International Journal of Advanced Research, 6(1), 38-47. https://doi.org/10.37284/ijar.6.1.1110