This article theorizes a research process in a highly politicized environment in which we, as feminist researchers, found ourselves standing outside the feminist standpoint which dominated Irish public discourse, viz advocacy of a Swedish-style, neo-abolitionist, prostitution policy. We suggest that our increasing personal and intellectual discomfort as that policy position gained support contained valuable epistemic insight. We theorize this principally by drawing on Pillow’s concept of ‘reflexivities of discomfort’. This article offers an account of the messy dynamics of a research process in which we, in time, recognized our own psychosocial worlds as sites of social critique. We contribute to debates about reflexivity by exploring the insights which this approach brought when applied to the dynamics of power politics between us as researchers and the wider policy field within which we were immersed.
Source: European Journal of Women’s Studies, Volume 21, Issue 3, August 2014. Published online before print 16 January, 2014.