Exploring Multiple Identities as a Health Care Ethnographer

  • Alison Ledger University of Limerick


Previous discussions about the role of the ethnographer have weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of occupying insider or outsider positions, or dual practitioner-researcher identities. In the author’s experience, additional identities can come to the fore when a seasoned health professional returns to the field as a novice ethnographer. In this article she reflects on ways in which she shifted between the identities of researcher, therapist, friend, and student in her ethnography about music therapy service development. These experiences are presented to reveal the inherent complexity of the researcher role and to encourage health care ethnographers to consider ways in which they can hold multiple identities in their own research.

Author Biography

Alison Ledger, University of Limerick
Health Research Board Fellow Music & Health Research Group Irish World Academy of Music & Dance