Families, Relationships and Societies
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Shifting roles, changing relations: considerations when doing ethnographic research with multiple families

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  • 1 University of Padova, , Italy
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When conducting ethnographic research, a family researcher becomes involved in the personal lives of the participants. This raises a number of concerns for the researcher when establishing relationships with family members. Drawing on qualitative data from research on children’s intra-familial privacy in Turkey, this article aims to increase awareness of several cultural aspects that may have an impact on how researchers build rapport with family members in Turkey. It reflects on a set of key considerations when doing ethnographic research with multiple families. These include the cultural struggles for children when addressing the researcher (in kinship terms such as ‘elder sister’), negotiation of the researcher’s role through participant observational activities, the changing display of family over time, the researcher’s over-involvement in family issues, and adapting to family cultures when working with families from different sociocultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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  • 1 University of Padova, , Italy

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