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Doing ‘judgemental rationality’ in empirical research: the importance of depth-reflexivity when researching in prison

Quraishi, Muzammil, Irfan, Lamia, Schneuwly Purdie, Mallory and Wilkinson, Matthew L. N. 2021. Doing ‘judgemental rationality’ in empirical research: the importance of depth-reflexivity when researching in prison. Journal of Critical Realism 21 (1) , pp. 25-45. 10.1080/14767430.2021.1992735

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Critical realist thought has theorised convincingly that epistemic relativism is constellationally embedded in ontological realism which in turn necessitates judgemental rationality. In social science, judgemental rationality involves acting upon plausible decisions about competing points of view. However, the tools for doing this are, as yet, under-articulated. This paper addresses this absence by articulating triangulation and depth-reflexivity as two tools for doing judgemental rationality in empirical research. It draws on the experiences of a diverse team working on an international comparative research project on conversion to Islam in prisons. It demonstrates how epistemic and relational gaps between researchers and research subjects can be bridged by mobilising the ‘laminated’ properties and personal attributes of a diverse research team that factors in attributes that are absent as well as those present. The biographical experiences of the team are analyzed in a variety of intersecting dimensions: faith, ethnicity/ethno-culture, gender, class and professionality.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 1476-7430
Funders: The Dawes Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 5 November 2021
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 12:39

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