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Researching infertility in British South Asian communities: reflecting on intersections of ethnicity, age, gender and reproductive identity

A growing literature highlights the significance of  relationships within research, and the ways in which social characteristics such as gender and ethnicity shape these interactions. This paper explores these relationships within a study of the experience of infertility among British South Asians, in which the researcher was a woman of white British ethnic origin. Age, gender, language, ethnicity, educational status and reproductive history all played a role in shaping relationships in this study and demonstrate the relational re-production of identity through research interactions. Differently configured ethnicidentities between the researcher and the participants played a role in shaping the data collection, but did not necessarily appear to have a negative impact on the research. It is argued that the need for ‘matching’ of researchers and participants by reference to an essentialised understanding of aspects of social difference is flawed, and a more nuanced consideration of this relationship is required among social science researchers.

Author(s): Nicky Hudson

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