The aim of this paper is to discuss the development and evolution of particular personas adopted by researchers in the quest for rich exchanges within the social field. It analyses my role (the principal author) as a female ethnographer (and the sole female) in the world of elite male rowing. Data are drawn from personal notes, reflections and observations during a five-month-long training camp. My experiences are located within dramaturgical social theory and, in particular, Goffman’s work on face and impression management. The significance of the work is twofold. Firstly, it lies in recognising the strategies we use and the identities we construct as researchers in negotiating the social field towards desired ends. Secondly, it raises awareness of the implications performances have for the nature of the data gathered and the conclusions drawn from them.
- Researcher roles