Social work researchers are increasingly interested in capturing the lived experiences of African American women in various settings and circumstances. Qualitative methodologies can fulfill this goal, yet researchers commonly face several barriers in gathering the collective stories of African American women. This article explores the process of conducting qualitative research with African American females from the feminist perspectives of two researchers – one African American and one White. Through dialogue, we describe how our individual standpoints influenced our experiences during three research stages: engaging, recruiting, and interviewing. Although our racial backgrounds contributed to very distinct research experiences, we contend that with cultural awareness and understanding of African American communities, researchers of all racial and ethnic backgrounds can make positive contributions to building knowledge about African American women. Strategies that insiders and outsiders can utilize in qualitative research with disenfranchised communities are presented.
Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- African American women
- feminist theory
- qualitative methods
- standpoint theory