Geographical Research with 'Vulnerable Groups'
Re-examining Methodological and Ethical Process
Drawing on varied expertise from specialisms across the sub-disciplines of social and cultural geography, this book seeks to interrogate what it is to do research with people widely considered to be vulnerable. Written from an emancipatory standpoint, this book addresses the ethical and practical challenges that face researchers working with marginalised people. With chapters exploring the authors’ own experiences of working with a wide range of participants including homeless people, indigenous peoples, drug addicts, learning disabled children, and prisoners, the book draws on research undertaken by academics across the globe. Geographical Research with ‘Vulnerable Groups’ unpicks and interrogates each part of the research process, from obtaining ethics permission from review bodies, to recruitment and gatekeepers, through to dissemination of research findings. Throughout the discussion, authors foreground the relational identities of the actors in the research process, highlighting the ways in which institutional attempts to protect marginalised people from risk, perpetuate a perceived, and even material, vulnerability. This honest and empirically driven text will provide an illuminating insight for researchers embarking on research with marginalised people.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Social & Cultural Geography.
Table of Contents
1.Research relationships and responsibilities: ‘Doing’ research with ‘vulnerable’ participants: introduction to the special edition
Nadia von Benzon and Lorraine van Blerk
2.Relational vulnerability and the research process with former prisoners in Athens, Georgia (USA)
Matthew L. Mitchelson
3. Researching migration and enforcement in obscured places: practical, ethical and methodological challenges to fieldwork
Pauline Maillet, Alison Mountz and Keegan Williams
4. Civil society activists and vulnerability in South India: the relational politics of life history methods and development research
Matt Baillie Smith and Katy Jenkins
5. Being patient, being vulnerable: exploring experiences of general practice waiting rooms through elicited drawings Kyle Eggleton, Robin Kearns and Pat Neuwelt
6. The ethnographic novel as activist mode of existence: translating the field with homeless people and beyond
7. Residential ethnography, mixed loyalties, and religious power: ethical dilemmas in faith-based addiction treatment Andrew P. J. W. Williams
8. Confessions of an inadequate researcher: space and supervision in research with learning disabled children
Nadia von Benzon
Nadia von Benzon is a lecturer in human geography at Lancaster University, UK. She teaches and researches social geography and qualitative methods, with a particular interest in issues of marginalisation and difference. Specific research interests include childhood, disability, health and wellness and 'otherness'.
Lorraine van Blerk is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Dundee, UK. She has conducted research with marginalised young people including street-connected children and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa, young refugees in Uganda and Jordan as well as children living in poverty across a diverse range of contexts.