Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a transformative research methodology that seeks to develop equitable partnerships between academic researchers and community partners in the research process. CBPR has grown in prominence in inequities-focused health research, yet critics have noted that insider-outsider tensions and unequal power relations often become reproduced, despite research partners’ best intentions. CBPR researchers suggest that “critical reflexivity” can illuminate the processes by which insider-outsider tensions come to be reproduced. However, critical reflexivity is underexplored in the CBPR literature. In this paper, I use autoethnography to analyze how social identity and positionality come to impact the research process, representation of voice, and production of knowledge within CBPR. Drawing on my own experiences as a researcher in the Naloxone and Inner City Youth study, I demonstrate how autoethnography can be used as a critically reflexive methodology by which CBPR researchers can better understand how insider-outsider power relations come to reproduced. Following my analysis, I discuss implications for CBPR and for using critical reflexivity in research.
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