Reinharz points out that "Personal experience typically is irrelevant in mainstream research, or is thought to contaminate a project's objectivity" (Reinharz, Shulamit, Feminist Methods in Social Research, Oxford University Press, 1992, p258).

This is true even when the subject of the research is the body itself. For example, Elaine Scarry makes no reference whatsoever to her own experiences of physical pain or her personal feelings about physical pain in her book The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (Oxford University Press, 1985).

A rare exception to this pattern is Chung Yuen Kay, who states that she stopped working at a Chinese takeaway during her research into gender and ethnicity in the UK's Chinese restaurant trade because: "After the third week I became ill; I had a history of chronic anaemia and I decided it would not be sensible of me to carry on beyond what I could physically manage." ("At the Palace - Researching gender and ethnicity in a Chinese restaurant", in Stanley, Liz [ed.], Feminist Praxis, Routledge, London, 1990, p190)

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