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Research Seminar Series - Reflections of an outsider

Event information

START DATE 08 March 2018

Oasis Theatre, Block 16

END DATE 08 March 2018

We are pleased to invite you to Wednesday’s research seminar. It will be held on Wednesday 8th March, from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park. The Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 220 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. This week’s presentation is:

Reflections of an outsider

Heather Jeffrey

Middlesex University Dubai


The significance of the role of the researcher in creating knowledge has long been acknowledged in qualitative research. Yet, surprisingly little attention has been given to the topic of interpreters be they cultural or linguistic, due to worries of loss of meaning (Krzywoszynska, 2015). This worry of a loss of meaning and lack of a space dedicated to the role of interpreting insiders within the research process can also be said to reflect an ongoing bias of positivist thinking even in qualitative research when the ‘truth’ is sought about the ‘other’. Whilst, even though the concept of transparent language has been problematised in recent years, researchers still fail to engage with interpretation due to concerns of credibility. In this short presentation, I explore the process of interviewing 15 Tunisian women, my positionality and the role of interpreters and translators. I exemplify the messy nature of qualitative research and investigate understandings, misunderstandings and the ethical situations that can occur when working with translators. Ultimately I argue that we must acknowledge the process of translation and that rather than leading to a loss of credibility it can enrich the data collected. 


Dr. Heather Jeffrey completed her Ph.D. entitled A Discursive Analysis of Women’s Femininities within the Context of Tunisian Tourism at Middlesex University, London. Heather joined Middlesex University, Dubai after having held faculty positions at the University of Bedfordshire, Middlesex University London, and the University of East London. Heather’s research interests centre on social inequality, qualitative methods, and gender studies and she was pleased to have been invited to become a member of the European Commission funded International Network for Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities in 2016. More recently Heather has become an associate for the non-profit organisation Equality in Tourism, she is the treasurer of the Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group and dissertation reviewer for the Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group at the Royal Geographical Society. In addition to creating scholarly outputs, Heather also writes for the Huffington Post in issues related to tourism, gender and academia.

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