Volume 3 Issue 1 (2007): Students' Reflections on Doing Research
Main Articles

Voice of the Researcher: Extending the Limits of What Counts as Research

Stephen John Quaye
The Pennsylvania State University
Published May 7, 2007
  • identity,
  • diary,
  • personal narrative,
  • academic community,
  • home community,
  • research,
  • research educators
  • ...More


Social sciences research is entrenched with particular values, beliefs, norms, and practices that students, faculty, and researchers reproduce over time. In this article, the author argues for extending what counts as research within the social sciences to be more inclusive of differing methodologies and writing genres. Using personal narrative, diaries, and poetry, the author demonstrates unconventional ways of thinking about, doing, and writing research. He situates his personal experiences as a Ghanaian/American student within relevant literature to illuminate the merging of his home cultural values with those of the academic community and the contradictions and struggles associated with this process. Ultimately, the story portrays the journey of a graduate student as he challenges traditional research norms to open up spaces for underrepresented students to feel more at home within academe.