“You again – what are you researching this time?”
Can You Ever “Leave the Field”?
Keywords:insider–outsider dynamics, positionality, researcher–participant dynamics, research fields
This article reflects on “going back” to the field as a researcher who has investigated the intersections of sexualities and spiritualities and occupying multiple and diverse positionalities in relation to research and researcher identities. It explores what it means to “go back” and “give back,” where the lines are permanently blurred between “participant” and “researcher” in particular spiritual spaces. We reflect on how sexualities are implicated in this process, as well as how spiritualities are enacted (or not) on return as a “non-researcher.” We look at what “matters” and what fails to matter through the themes of: being a (non) researcher; being known and unknown, and engaging spiritualities and sexualities. The article argues that “going back” is something that requires further exploration where pleasure and spirituality is found both in the experiences of the space itself and from undertaking research in these spaces.
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