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Chapter 26: Writing it Up, Writing it Down: Being Reflexive in Accounts of Consumer Behavior
26 Writing it up, writing it down: being reﬂexive in accounts of consumer behavior Annamma Joy, John F. Sherry, Gabriele Troilo and Jonathan Deschenes The purpose of this chapter is to rethink the concept of reﬂexivity within consumer research and to highlight the complexities and various levels of reﬂexive thought. In doing so, we were inspired by the work of Kristen Campbell, in particular her article, ‘The promise of feminist reﬂexivities: developing Donna Haraway’s project for feminist science studies’, in which she expands on Haraway’s ideas of diﬀraction and situated knowledge. We are indebted to her. Our title, ‘Writing it up, writing it down’, we owe to Cliﬀord Geertz (1988). The turn to reﬂexivity Reﬂexivity is the act of turning backward, the act of mirroring the self. It is a human undertaking and, as the neurologist Ramachandaran (2003) notes, our reﬂective selfconsciousness – the possibility of contemplating the consequences of our actions – is what is special about us humans. While it is a theory about epistemology, in current anthropological contexts it is also viewed as an embodied activity, a process and method for conducting ﬁeldwork and constructing ethnographies. Reﬂexivity allows for the revelation and contemplation of one’s own biases, theoretical predispositions, preferences, the researcher’s place in the setting and the context of the social phenomenon being studied (Foley, 2002). It is a means for a critical and ethical consideration of the entire research process. Reﬂexive thinking as a corrective mode...
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