African American Studies | Leisure Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Sports Studies


In this research note, I use an autoethnographic method to undertake the task of uncomfortable reflexivity to address the intra-conflict of being a Black woman researching the minority swimming gap, who, like my research participants, struggles with hair maintenance to engage in swimming activities. My uncomfortable reflexivity moves from stages of confession, self-discovery, catharsis and a plan to incorporate deeper reflexivity in future research and other academic practices. Reflexivity in qualitative research is used as a methodological practice to give validation and legitimacy to a research study. Oftentimes, a qualitative researcher will do a bracketed interview to become aware of existing biases, fix problems with an interview schedule, or to temporarily feel what their subjects may experience during an interview. Sometimes reflexivity is merely done as a step in the research process, never progressing to the point of real interrogation of self, the body, and, ultimately, application. I have been guilty of going through the motions of comfortable reflexivity.