Feminist insider research by Marnie Sather

Marnie Sather works as a narrative therapist in Melbourne, Australia. She has a long-standing passion for making room in therapeutic and community work for complex understandings of suicide, including with those bereaved by suicide. Her current research interest is women’s and children’s experiences of bereavement as a result of suicide. Marnie3@mac.com

In this presentation, made at the launch of the Narrative Practice Research Network, Marnie Sather introduces some of the possibilities and complexities of feminist insider research. Drawing on her experience of completing doctoral research with women who had lost a male partner to suicide, Marnie sets out some of the options for positioning the researcher in insider research – from not disclosing insider status to placing it as the centre – and describes how she came to a position of careful utilisation of her own experience in the research process and in the writing of her thesis.

Key words: research; feminism; methodology; interview; suicide; narrative practice

Sather, M. (2024). Feminist insider research [Video file]. International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, (1), https://doi.org/10.4320/10.4320/XXJX2447

Author pronouns: she/her


Haug, F. (2008). Memory work. Australian Feminist Studies, 23(58), 537–541. https://doi.org/10.1080/08164640802433498

Sather, M.(2021). Illuminating skills and knowledges of women who have lost a male partner to suicide: A feminist insider narrative practice research project [PhD thesis]. The University of Melbourne. http://hdl.handle.net/11343/279386

Wilkinson, S., & Kitzinger, C. (2013). Representing our own experience: Issues in “insider” research. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37(2), 251–255. https://doi.org/10.1177/0361684313483111

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jacqueline Sandy

    This was a valuable insight on how to use our own experiences without centering ourselves in conversations. I have always been taught to be a blank slate, which does feel weird and dishonest at times. It is good to see an application of how to use insider narrative practice.
    Using vignettes really does set the mind to consider different experiences presented. The door is opened and invites curiosity and learning. I would love to have the opportunity to use this tool. I noticed the way that Marnie talked to the audience about such a difficult topic, she has a wonderful presence that gives a space to absorb what she is saying, and permission to be respectively curious. I also took note of her practice to follow up. This was great.

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