To Bracket or not to Bracket: Reflections of a Novice Qualitative Researcher

  • Bibi Baksh
Keywords: qualitative research, racism, epistemology, phenomenology, bracketing, reflexivity, critical race theory, intersectionality

Abstract

Qualitative research is a useful method for social work research and continues to be part of the core curriculum in graduate social work education. This paper summarizes my engagement with an initial qualitative research project, which was undertaken by four colleagues and myself, as part of our PhD research methods course. We used Critical Race Theory as our theoretical framework and phenomenology as our methodology to explore aspects of racism in our faculty’s classroom setting. In this paper, I reflect on my experiences with the research process and group activity. I also consider the impact of my personal epistemology as I grapple with the concepts of bracketing and reflexivity. The insight gained from this process would be useful for students and teachers in social work programs who are contemplating utilizing qualitative research and/or group work in research projects.