On Reflexivity

Tribute to Catherine Kohler Riessman


  • Wendy Luttrell City University of New York


reflexivity, narratives, intellectual labour, research scholarship


This paper is a tribute to Catherine Kohler Riessman, whose imprint on the field of narrative studies is legendary. It draws on some of her most influential publications to highlight her enduring commitment to and practice of researcher “reflexivity” and how her scholarship has influenced my work. I draw upon several of Cathy's most influential publications to highlight her model of reflexivity in practice—a tacking back and forth between research questions, the literature, the data we collect and interpretations we make, our intellectual biographies, politics, personal experiences, and research relationships. We can look to Cathy's scholarship for the power of revisiting, re-feeling, revising and re-envisioning our data. Her brand of feminist scholarship serves as a guide for bringing intellectual labour; historical, political and theoretical change; and personal lives into closer relation.


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DeVault, M. L. (1991). Feeding the family: The social organization of caring in gendered work. University of Chicago Press.

Goffman, E. (1979). Gender advertisements. Harper and Row.

Krieger, S. (1991). Social science and the self: Personal essays on an art form. Rutgers University Press.

Lasch, C. (1979). The culture of narcissism: American life in an age of diminishing expectations. W. W. Norton.

Luttrell, W. (2003). Pregnant bodies, fertile minds: Race, gender and the schooling of pregnant teens. Routledge.

Luttrell, W. (2010). A camera is a big responsibility: A lens for analyzing children’s visual voices. Visual Studies, 25, 224–237.

Luttrell, W. (2020). Children framing childhoods: Working-class kids’ visions of care. Policy Press.

Lutz, C., & Collins, J. L. (1993). Reading National Geographic. University of Chicago Press.

Myerhoff, B., & Ruby, J. (1982). “Introduction.” In J. Ruby (Ed.), A crack in the mirror: Reflexive perspectives in anthropology (pp. 1–35). University of Pennsylvania Press.

Oakley, A. (1980). Women confined: Towards a sociology of childbirth. Martin Robertson.

Reinharz, S. (1984). On becoming a social scientist. Transaction.

Riessman, C. K. (1990). Divorce talk: Women and men make sense of personal relationships. Rutgers University Press.

Riessman, C. K. (1993). Narrative analysis. Sage.

Riessman, C. K. (2002). Doing justice: Positioning the interpreter in narrative work. In W. Patterson (Ed.), Strategic narrative: New perspectives on the power of personal and cultural storytelling (pp. 193–214). Lexington Books.

Riessman, C. K. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Sage.

Riessman, C. K. (2015). Entering the hall of mirrors: Reflexivity and narrative research. In A. De Fina & A. Georgakopoulou (Eds.), The handbook of narrative analysis (pp. 219-238). John Wiley & Sons.

Rose, G. (2012). Visual methodologies: An introduction to the interpretation of visual materials (3rd ed.). Sage. (Original work published 2001).

Rose, H. (1983). Hand, brain and heart: A feminist epistemology for the natural sciences. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 9(1), 73–90.

Smith, D. (1987). The everyday world is problematic: A feminist sociology. Northeastern University Press.

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Stacey, J. (1988). Can there be a feminist ethnography? Women’s Studies International Forum, 11(1), 21–27.

Stanley, L. & Wise, S. (1983). Breaking out: Feminist consciousness and feminist research. Routledge & Kegan Paul.




How to Cite

Luttrell, W. (2021). On Reflexivity: Tribute to Catherine Kohler Riessman. Narrative Works, 10, 71 – 82. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/NW/article/view/31905