Researching up and across in physical education and sport pedagogy: Methodological lessons learned from an intergenerational narrative inquiry

Steven Rynne, Eimear Enright, Laura Georgina Alfrey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Of issue in this paper are the ways in which different forms of narrative may be of value inundertaking research in potentially thorny situations. The project that inspired this paper saw 30Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy (PESP) Early Career Academics (ECAs) from more than20 universities across Australasia, North America and Europe, provide narrative accounts of theirongoing academic experiences. From these stories, three letters seeking advice and guidance fromleaders in the field were constructed. Following further feedback from the ECAs, the 3 letterswere sent to 11 professors in the PESP field with a request to respond, also in letter form. Thecomposite letters and the professorial responses were then the subject of a symposium at aninternational PESP conference. While the larger project engages with questions of being andbecoming an academic in the neoliberal university, this paper is primarily concerned withmethodological issues, including our steps and missteps with narrative, inquiry and the field.More specifically, the focus is on narrative as both the method and phenomena of study. As such,we consider issues associated with using dialogue as data, the provocation of participants, as wellas both the presentation and representation of data and the relative power of the participants. Indoing so, we critically engage with issues of anonymity (or lack thereof), the practice of‘researching up’ and finally reach the conclusion that the careful approach to data generation,treatment and presentation necessitated by this project, should be a more regular feature of allqualitative inquiry
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)140-156
    Number of pages17
    JournalSport, Education and Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Narrative research
    • researching up
    • research methodology
    • sport pedagogy
    • universities
    • academic career
    • early career researchers

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