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Social scientists are increasingly called upon to carry out research on topics that are 'sensitive' in the sense that they deal with behaviour that is intimate, discreditable or incriminating. Such topics not only pose difficult technical problems, but also raise questions regarding the ethics and politics of research.
Aiming to acquaint researchers with the tools and experiences of colleagues in various fields on methods of researching these topics, distinguished researchers from across the social sciences explore such issues as cross-cultural research, disclosure and the dissemination of research findings, feminist methodologies and self-censorship.
PART ONE: WHAT IS SENSITIVE RESEARCH?
The Problems of Researching Sensitive Topics - Raymond M Lee and Claire M Renzetti
An Overview and Introduction
The Ethics and Politics of Sensitive Research - Joan E Sieber
PART TWO: DESIGNING RESEARCH ON SENSITIVE TOPICS
The Cyclical Pattern of Child Abuse - Sharon D Herzberger
A Study of Research Methodology
Measuring the Underground Economy - J J Thomas
A Suitable Case for Interdisciplinary Treatment?
Doing Research in Post-Tiananmen China - Daniel J Curran and Sandra Cook
Developing a Community Sample of Gay Men for an Epidemiological Study of AIDS - John L Martin and Laura Dean
PART THREE: SENSITIVITY IN FIELD RESEARCH
'They Must Be Crazy' - Marybeth Ayella
Some of the Difficulties in Researching 'Cults'
Sensitivity as a Problem in Field Research - John D Brewer
A Study of Routine Policing in Northern Ireland
Mediating the Message - Nigel G Fielding
Affinity and Hostility in Research on Sensitive Topics
AIDS Prevention Research - Benjamin P Bowser and Joan E Sieber
Old Problems and New Solutions
PART FOUR: THE USE OF FEMINIST METHODOLOGIES IN RESEARCHING SENSITIVE TOPICS
An Education in Interviewing - Rosalind Edwards
Placing the Researcher and the Research
Interviewing Survivors of Marital Rape - Raquel Kennedy Bergen
Doing Feminist Research on Sensitive Topics
Using Visual Imagery to Explore Gendered Notions of Pain - Gillian Bendelow
PART FIVE: DISSEMINATING SENSITIVE RESEARCH FINDINGS: STRUCTURAL AND PERSONAL CONSTRAINTS
Studying African Women's Secret Societies - Pamela J Brink
Ethical Issues in Self-Censorship - Patricia A Adler and Peter Adler
Ethnographic Research on Sensitive Topics
Anticipating Media Coverage - Noreen L Channels
Methodological Decisions in Criminal Justice Research