'I lived down the road from you': exploring power and identity, then and now.
Brine, J. (2010) 'I lived down the road from you': exploring power and identity, then and now. In: Bathmaker, A.-M. and Harnett, P., eds. (2010) Exploring learning, identity and power through life history and narrative research. London: Routledge, pp. 130-143. ISBN 9780415496445
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The focus of this chapter is not on the substantive findings of research (published elsewhere) but on the interplay of autobiography with the life histories of others - the participant interviewees of the research. The chapter considers the research journey, the relations between the people involved, at the time of the interview, in the past, at the times of analysis and as this chapter was written. I argue that even chronologically, research is not linear, but messy, more like a tangled ball of wool than a straightforward trajectory. The chapter considers the researcher responses of anger, envy and empathy, along with the ethics of representation. The chapter is based on my initial and subsequent research into classed and gendered aspects of selective schooling in Bristol through the mid-'50s to mid-'60s. The tension between individual biography and the shared history of a time, place and class is at the core of the research, not only in the understandings of the policy and practices but also, as shown in this chapter, in its methodology.