This volume recognises how many researchers across the social sciences, and in comparative and international education in particular, see themselves as insiders or outsiders or, more pertinently, shifting combinations of both, in the research process. The book revisits and problematises these concepts in an era where the global mobility of researchers and ideas has increased dramatically, and when advances in comparative, qualitative research methodologies seek to be more inclusive, collaborative, participatory, reflexive and nuanced. Collectively, the chapters argue that, in the context of such change, it has become more difficult to categorise and label groups and individuals as being ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ systems, professional communities, or research environments. In doing so, it is recognised that individual and group identities can be multiple, flexible and changing such that the boundary between the inside and the outside is permeable, less stable and less easy to draw.
The book draws upon an exciting collection of original research carried out in a diversity of educational systems from British, European, Latin American, Indian Ocean, South Asian, African and Chinese contexts and cultures. This develops a deep and innovative reconsideration of key issues that must be faced by all researchers involved in the planning and conduct of in-depth field research. This is a challenging and stimulating methodological contribution, designed to advance critical and reflective thinking while providing practical and accessible guidance, insights and support for new and experienced researchers within and beyond the field of comparative and international education.