Kitchen table reflexivity: negotiating positionality through everyday talk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In this article, we explore the role of self-reflexivity in the understanding of positionality in human geography to argue that self-reflexivity in and of itself does not offer researchers sufficient opportunities to question and critique their fluid, ever-changing positionalities. Drawing on the work of feminist scholars, critical race scholars, and experiences carrying out qualitative research, we argue that formal and informal conversations with colleagues and mentors affords the opportunity to deeply engage with positionalities. This article draws on concepts of ‘everyday talk’ to encourage researchers to explore their positionalities through kitchen table reflexivity – an exploration of an individual's positionality and its relationship to their research carried out through formal and informal conversations with others. We demonstrate how everyday talk with each other furthered our understandings of our fluid identities in relation to our research participants. Through these conversations, we were able to more critically interrogate our identity and not simply reduce identity to a laundry list of perceived similarities and differences between research participants and us. In conclusion, we encourage all researchers to use everyday talk as one way to complicate their positionalities and to reflect on how this process relates to the broader societal and academic environment within which they carry out their research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-763
Number of pages17
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • critical race theory
  • everyday talk
  • feminist scholarship
  • positionality
  • qualitative methods
  • self-reflexivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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