In this episode, the project team come together to talk through their experiences of working on the project and reflect back on the project design. In particular, we talk about what we mean when we say the project is a piece of qualitative research and the value of this approach to doing social research. Through our reflections on our research into what Brexit means for British citizens living in the EU-27, we highlight how qualitative research aims to develop a rich and complex understanding and the process by which this is achieved from considerations over how to bring diverse accounts into the project to allowing the research encounter to be guided by the perceptions and understandings of those taking part in the research. As we stress, this has meant being flexible in how we do the research, paying attention to what is and isn’t said and thinking about how to encourage and amplify some of the more muted narratives. What does this approach do for us? It helps us to understand what Brexit means to British citizens living in the EU-27 within the context of their individual lives and allows us to get to the heart of questions about citizenship, identity and belonging.
This is the first of three episodes that consider what the project might offer in extending understandings of some of the challenges of doing social research.