House of Mirrors: The Messy Worlds of Interdisciplinary Community-Based Research

  • Karen M. Staller University of Michigan
  • Elana D. Buch University of Michigan
  • William C. Birdsall University of Michigan


What happens when a female assistant professor sends a young, attractive, smart, female doctoral student into the field with a gentle, older, emeritus male professor? Well, you get the "my assistant" incident or the "soup place thing" and some questions about doing qualitative community-based research with an interdisciplinary team. But you also get some unexpected insights about the research team, the community in which the researchers were received, and the research process itself. In this narrative, using this incident, the authors explore the house-of-mirrors effects of doing community-based interdisciplinary research.

General Submissions