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Introduction to Part I

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2024

Jennifer Leigh
Affiliation:
University of Kent, Canterbury
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Summary

I am an interdisciplinary researcher. My passion is utilising embodied and creative qualitative research to capture transient evocative moments and authentic stories of people’s lives (Leigh and Brown 2021a). I am particularly interested in exploring and sharing the subjective experiences of those who are marginalised, and highlighting these testimonials in order to effect change. The life I lived beyond academia as a scientist, therapist, teacher, and artist taught me lessons about intention and impact imperative for all qualitative researchers; particularly those using creative and embodied methods. It showed me how art, education, therapy, and qualitative research share borders and lie adjacent to science. A naive or unwary researcher, artist, or educator can easily get lost, or even harm themselves and their participants if they find themselves in unfamiliar therapeutic territory. Researchers, artists, therapists, and educators are trained to navigate in different lands.

I am a researcher. However, before I became a researcher I was a scientist, and I accepted that there was an objective and absolute truth, and purity in the scientific method. Before I became a researcher, I was a therapist. I worked therapeutically with a humanistic and person-centred ethos using movement, words, and creative outputs such as drawing or mark-making in the service of others to help them process difficult experiences. My work facilitated others to learn from and take what they needed from their own lives and their relationships with the world and others around them, and to let go of what they no longer needed. Before I became a researcher, I was a teacher. I trained to teach children aged 11–19 in science, and worked with children aged four and older with and without special educational needs across the curriculum in the UK. Before I became a researcher, I was an artist, using movement and fibre to capture ephemeral moments of creativity in a spinning web for others to notice and play with.

So why am I writing this book? What am I saying that is unique, or, more importantly, do I feel needs to be said yet has not been shared so far within existing literature?

Type
Chapter
Information
Borders of Qualitative Research
Navigating the Spaces Where Therapy, Education, Art, and Science Connect
, pp. 3 - 20
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Introduction to Part I
  • Jennifer Leigh, University of Kent, Canterbury
  • Book: Borders of Qualitative Research
  • Online publication: 28 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781447355649.002
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Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction to Part I
  • Jennifer Leigh, University of Kent, Canterbury
  • Book: Borders of Qualitative Research
  • Online publication: 28 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781447355649.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction to Part I
  • Jennifer Leigh, University of Kent, Canterbury
  • Book: Borders of Qualitative Research
  • Online publication: 28 March 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781447355649.002
Available formats
×