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Getting lost in the field : the unpredictable nature of fieldwork with young people


Dwyer, AE and Hayes, H, Getting lost in the field : the unpredictable nature of fieldwork with young people, Qualitative Criminology : Stories from the Field, Hawkins Press, Bartels, Lorana and Richards, Kelly (ed), Annandale, NSW, pp. 106-115. ISBN 9781876067243 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2011 The Federation Press

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This chapter focuses on the unpredictable nature of fieldwork with young offenders, specifically with those in a marginalised context. We begin by recounting our experiences working with young people who have had contact with criminal justice processes, particularly those who are the subject of extreme levels of official social control. We then turn to a discussion of the challenges associated with the unpredictable nature of fieldwork, specifically the difficulties associated with negotiating access with gatekeepers and negotiating with young people. We also discuss specific challenges with the research ethics governance of ethically sensitive research in this context (e.g. interviewing young people about offending behaviour). Finally, we recount our experiences in working these young people, with a focus on ‘the grunt’: that is, drawing out young peoples’ stories in interviews. We conclude with some reflections on the need to develop systematic instruction in qualitative work in this specific context.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:fieldwork, young people, marginalised, criminal justice, interviews, gatekeepers, ethics
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Criminology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Children's services and childcare
UTAS Author:Dwyer, AE (Dr Angela Dwyer)
ID Code:107068
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-03-03
Last Modified:2018-08-09

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