Transcending objectivism, subjectivism, and the knowledge in-between: The subject in/of ‘strong reflexivity’

Inanna Hamati-Ataya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This article addresses the problematique of the subject and the subject-object dichotomy from a post-objectivist, reflexivist perspective informed by a 'strong' version of reflexivity. It clarifies the rationale and epistemic-ontological requirements of strong reflexivity comparatively, through a discussion of autoethnography and autobiography, taken as representatives of other variants of reflexive scholarship. By deconstructing the ontological, epistemic, and reflexive statuses of the subject in the auto-ethnographic and auto-biographical variants, the article shows that the move from objectivism to post-objectivism can entail different reconfigurations of the subject-object relation, some of which can lead to subjectivism or an implicit positivist view of the subject. Strong reflexivity provides a coherent and empowering critique of objectivism because it consistently turns the ontological fact of the social situatedness of knowledge into an epistemic principle of social-scientific research, thereby providing reflexivist scholars with a critique of objectivism from within that allows them to reclaim the philosophical, social, and ethical dimensions of objectivity rather than surrender them to the dominant neopositivist tradition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
JournalReview of International Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2013


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