Researching drug sellers: an experiential account from the field.

Ward, Jennifer (2008) Researching drug sellers: an experiential account from the field. Sociological research online, 13 (1). ISSN 1360-7804

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Official URL: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/13/1/14.html

Abstract

Ethnographic research techniques are well regarded as a way to elicit detailed understandings of human interaction. They are particularly useful for examining 'deviant' cultures and the dynamics of illegal activity. Though, ethnographic research on illegal activity can be 'messy'. This paper reports some practical and ethical issues encountered while carrying out an ethnographic study of drug use and drug selling among 'rave' dance participants in London. In particular it addresses the issue of using friendship to assist the research relationship and the use of a semi-covert style of research. Connected to this, it touches on the emotional work of the fieldworker whilst undertaking 'sensitive' research. It makes a timely contribution to discussions of 'reflexivity' in the research process, as well as the discourse on social sciences research governance. It argues the standardized codes of ethical conduct can not easily be translated to ethnographic research on criminal activity, such as drug use and drug selling.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
School of Law > Law and Politics
Citations on ISI Web of Science:0
ID Code:2849
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Deposited On:21 Sep 2009 07:43
Last Modified:13 May 2014 14:47

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