The Transnational Affective Kaleidoscope as a Research Tool in Qualitative Research

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In this paper, I cross-hatch the theories of “affective transmission” in the research process and the “transnational optic” to explore how my emotional life has both been affected and affects my qualitative research projects as a result of a new geographical, political, cultural and social environment. To achieve this aim, I use examples of identical qualitative research studies conducted in Canada and Israel on oncologists’ experiences of patient death to explore and describe the differences in affective transmission because of my location. I use my experience as a bicultural qualitative researcher to develop a theory I call the “transnational affective kaleidoscope” that I argue is a central component of conducting binational and local qualitative research. This theory includes 3 components that I describe in detail: (a) intersubjectivity, (b) the moral and political gaze, and (c) structure of feeling. I conclude by giving concrete examples of how other qualitative researchers can put this theory into practice in their own research studies.

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