Negotiating Insider and Outsider Identities in the Field: "Insider" in a Foreign Land; "Outsider" in One's Own Land

Ergun Özbolat A., Erdemir A.

FIELD METHODS, vol.22, no.1, pp.16-38, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1525822x09349919
  • Journal Name: FIELD METHODS
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.16-38
  • Keywords: fieldwork, insiderness, outsiderness, researcher's identity, RESEARCHER, KNOWLEDGE, WOMEN
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The authors present a self-reflexive and comparative account of their fieldwork experiences in Azerbaijan and Turkey to examine insider and outsider identities of researchers in settings that are neither unfamiliar nor fully familiar. It is argued that the researcher is often suspended in a betwixt-and-between position in the transformative process. This position is not necessarily a transitional one that leads to either the inclusion or exclusion of researchers by informants. Rather, the insider-outsider relationship can be conceived as a dialectical one that is continuously informed by the differentiating perceptions that researchers and informants have of themselves and others.