Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Evasions in Interactions: Examples from the Transcultural Nursing Research Field

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Evasions in Interactions: Examples from the Transcultural Nursing Research Field

Article excerpt

Transcultural qualitative research is known for its utility in eliciting in-depth narratives, resulting in increased understanding about cultural phenomena (Andrews & Boyle, 2012; Barker, 2012; Cameron et al., 2014). However, sometimes specific phenomena in the researcher's inquiry are ignored, evaded, or denied; or a seemingly crucial experience demonstrating societal injustice, which the researcher had been expecting, does not emerge. In this paper, the issue of evasions in narratives is addressed, with two examples from the field; and tools for conducting ethical, culturally sensitive, and rigorous research are recommended.

The Ethno-Cultural Gerontological Nursing Model (ECGNM) (Phillips et al., 2015) situates our efforts in examining how qualitative researchers manage different levels of evasions, or what is not said or addressed during interviews or focus groups. Ethnogeriatrics inspires us to examine evasions vis-a-vis the intersection of aging, ethnicity, and health (Phillips et al.). Transcultural research often depends on interactions of the majority group with minority group research participants. Even if of the same minority group, researcher and participant may be at different subject positions (Foucault, 1973). Extant literature tends not to address cultural concepts common to more than one group. Based on this model and the underlying focus of this article, the following table details some of the important conceptual definitions related to ethno-geriatrics.

In this article we examine the similarities of evasions across two ethnic groups and discuss our process of over-reading in two qualitative research studies with aging minority populations.

The ECGNM explanatory framework organizes community-based participatory research (CBPR) aging research with minority populations. Transcultural qualitative researchers hone their skills in strategies from their toolkits to improve their chances of establishing rapport, choosing an environment conducive to optimal comfort of the participant or focus group members, and facilitating an open and honest dialogue about phenomena. Researchers conducting CBPR will have already gained understanding from the group or community within which the phenomenon occurs, possibly even using a "culture broker" (Tripp-Reimer & Brink, 1985) to focus on phenomena that matter (Crist, Parsons et al., 2009), within the humanistic nursing science paradigm (Paterson & Zderad, 2008). This approach is very different from empirical science conducted within laboratory settings. CBPR researchers attempt to have co-collaborators "self-disclose," in many cases to a researcher from the majority non-Hispanic white (NHW) group. We challenge ourselves and colleagues to be aware of personal sharing that we are asking of another human being, especially across different social groups and levels of privilege. One way to "level the playing field" is to disclose of ourselves to the participant to develop trust among our co-collaborators. However, we need to judge in some way the delicate balance of self-disclosure within the interaction between the research and research participant.

Toward achieving this balance, the following reflexive interpretations about conducting research are organized within two major ECGNM constructs. The first is "Macro-level factors;" that is, "climate of stereotypes, attitudes and ascriptions of the majority group" (Phillips et al., 2015, p. 122). The second is "Group-based influences" (p. 122); that is, cultural/historical traditions" and "cohort influences" within which are grouped referential-indexical and high or low context culture.

Macro-Level Factors: Subject Position, Clinical Gaze, and Social Desirability

Subject Position. One of the basic tasks as researchers is to be aware of not only our participants', but our personal "subject position" (Foucault, 1973). This is especially important when embarking on research with minority cultures when we are of the majority culture or of a more advantaged social status in Western culture. …

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