“Insiders” and “Outsiders”: Reflections on Hierarchies, Privileges and Positionalities in Academic Research


This working paper addresses the interrelated notions of positionality, the (self-)perceptions by and about researchers, as well as global inequalities in knowledge production. It presents the experiences of four individual researchers who introspect on issues of insiderness, outsiderness and privilege in academia. The paper first introduces the questions and origins of this piece, then presents the experiences of each researcher in four separate sections. Each contribution uses the first-person narrative and presents the background and topic of study of each researcher. The paper builds on the four researchers’ experiences of conducting empirical research in Australia, Brazil, China, Ecuador, Denmark, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru and Turkey, all while being affiliated with academic institutions from the so-called Global North. The final section offers some concluding remarks and insights for the way forward.