journaling, reflexive 2447

developed at about the same time. The task of
clarifying the western roots of Yanagita still
remains to be done.

SEE ALSO: Annales School; Minzoku; Nihon
jinron; Yanagita, Kunio

REFERENCES AND SUGGESTED
READINGS

Amino, Y., Miyata, N., & Fukuta, A. (Eds.) (1992)
Nihon Rekishi Minzoku Ronshu, 1 (Selected Essays
on Japanese History and Folklore, Vol. 1). Yoshi-
kawa Kobunkan, Tokyo.
Fukuta, A. (1984) Nihon Minzokugaku Hoho Josetsu
(An Introduction to the Methods in Japanese Folk
loristics). Kobundo, Tokyo.
Fukuta, A. (1992) Yanagita Kunio no Minzokugaku
(Kunio Yanagitas Folkloristics). Yoshikawa Kobun-
kan, Tokyo.
Kuwayama, T. (2004) Native Anthropology. Trans
Pacific Press, Melbourne.
Nakai, N. (1973) Rekishigaku teki Hoho no Kijun
(Rules of Methods in Historiography). Ko Shobo,
Tokyo.
Yanagita, K. (1998) Kyodo Seikatsu no Kenkyuho
(Methods in the Study of Local Community Life).
In: Ito, M. et al. (Eds.), Yanagita Kunio Zenshu, 8
(The Complete Works of Kunio Yanagita, Vol. 8).
Chikuma Shobo, Tokyo, pp. 195 368.

journaling, reflexive

Valerie J. Janesick

Journal writing as a reflexive research activity
has been called reflexive journaling by many
sociologists and researchers in training. It has
been most used by qualitative researchers in
the social sciences and other fields since these
professionals are seeking to describe a given
social setting or a persons life history in its
entirety. Qualitative research has a long history
of its own which includes discussion of the
techniques of the qualitative researcher. Reflex
ive journaling has been one of the most
described and often used techniques ( Janesick
2004). It has proven to be an effective tool for
understanding the processes of qualitative
research more fully, as well as the experiences,
mindsets, biases, and emotional states of the
researcher.
Many researchers advocate the use of a
reflexive journal at various points in the
research project timeline. To begin with, a jour
nal is a remarkable tool for any researcher to use
to reflect upon the methods of a given work in
progress, including how and when certain tech
niques are used in the study. Likewise, it is a
good idea to track the thinking processes of the
researcher and participants in a study. In fact,
writing a reflexive journal on the role of the
researcher in any given qualitative project is an
effective means to describe and explain research
thought processes. Often qualitative researchers
are criticized for not explaining exactly how
they conducted a study. The reflexive journal
writing of a researcher is one device that assists
in developing a record of how a study was
designed, why certain techniques were selected,
and subsequent ethical issues that evolved in the
study. A researcher may track in a journal the
daily workings of the study. For example, did
the participants change an interview appoint
ment? How did this subsequently affect the flow
of the study? Did a serious ethical issue emerge
from the conduct of the study? If so, how was
this described, explained, and resolved? These
and other such questions are a few examples of
the types of prompts for the writer. In addition
this emphasizes the importance of keeping a
reflexive journal throughout the entire qualita
tive research project.
If one checks recent dissertations completed
and catalogued on Dissertation Abstracts Inter
national, it is easy to see that many recent dis
sertations include the use of a reflexive journal.
The inclusion of the use of the reflexive journal
as part of the data collection procedure indi
cates, to some extent, the credibility of this
technique. But, conversely, does it not also act
as a source of credibility and validity for the
overall project? As a research technique, the
reflexive journal is user friendly and often instills
a sense of confidence in beginning researchers
and a sense of accomplishment in experienced
researchers. Many researchers verify that the
use of a reflexive journal makes the chal
lenge of interviewing, observations, and taking
fieldnotes much more fluid. Researchers who
use the reflexive journal often become more
reflective persons and better writers. Writing