Fuck, fuck, fuck: Reflexivity and fidelity in reporting swearwords in management research
In this essay, I confront a problem I encountered at a recent academic conference wherein the words and sentiments of research respondents were unfortunately and unnecessarily silenced and edited – perhaps due to presenters’ unfortunate and needless regard for the supposed impropriety of the respondents’ language. I argue that such silencing and editing is not only unfaithful to our respondents; it is also unfaithful to our project as social scientists. I briefly review some of the literature on qualitative interviewing and the importance of positionality, relationality and reflexivity between the interviewer and the participant. I apply some of these prescriptions to the reporting of data in presentations and manuscripts. I then point out some examples of how rude or swearwords have been appropriately used in management and other journals and end with a plea that we remain true to the language and settings that are so important for our understanding of social and organizational life.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the AIMS.