This paper will explore the research process within the context, pre-text and sub-text of investigating lived experience and acknowledges the pervasive influence of the lifeworld of the author on this process. Building on the Habermasian understanding of lifeworld, as centred on reaching a shared understanding that envelops the communicative practices of everyday life, the paper makes explicit the danger in placing the methodology and methods as themselves beyond question. The challenge is made to understandings where lived experience is regarded as a pure unmediated and authentic knowledgeability and the research account the true and direct speech of the autonomous, self-present individual. Rather, it is suggested that lived experience and the tools of reflection must be constantly problematised recognising their mediation into reality through language, text, discourse, discursive practices and power relations. This problematisation is thus evident in the tension in the personalising of research and the role of reflexivity and a critical consciousness in demystifying implicit, political and ideological contexts. To grapple with the research act as reflexive is to recognise that in our action is our knowing and thus the historical, social, political, and cultural worlds in which our actions and texts are embedded saturate the methodology and methods.
AARE International Education Research Conference (AARE 2010). AARE 2010 Conference Proceedings (Melbourne 29 November - 2 December, 2010)