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Undressing the researcher: feminism, embodiment and sexuality at a queer bathhouse event

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In this paper we examine how the researcher's body can be used as a tool for data collection in the process of ethnographic fieldwork. We focus in particular on the tensions inherent in undertaking embodied ethnographic research in the sexualized setting of a queer women's bathhouse event in Toronto, Canada. Our discussion addresses three moments within the research process: preparing our bodies to attend the bathhouse; positioning our bodies within the spaces of the bathhouse; and interacting with our bodies during the event. Through this discussion we argue that the body of the researcher is a contested site of knowledge production.

Keywords: Canada; Toronto; body; ethnography; reflexivity; sexuality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J 7B8 Department of Geography, Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2006


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