Researching Sensitive Topics

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803948440
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 10/29/1992
  • Series: SAGE Focus Editions Series , #152
  • Pages: 312

Meet the Author

Claire M. Renzetti is Judi Conway Patton Endowed Chair for Studies of Violence Against Women in the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky. She was Professor of Sociology at the University of Dayton from 2006-2010. She is editor of the international, interdisciplinary journal, Violence Against Women; co-editor with Jeffrey Edleson of the Interpersonal Violence book series for Oxford University Press; and editor of the Gender, Crime and Law book series for Northeastern University Press. She has authored or edited 16 books as well as numerous book chapters and articles in professional journals. Much of her research has focused on the violent victimization experiences of economically marginalized women living in public housing developments. She is currently conducting an ethnography of faith-based organizations involved in anti-trafficking work, a national study of the relationship between religiosity and intimate partner violence, and a survey of NGOs providing services to trafficking victims. Dr. Renzetti has held elected and appointed positions on the governing bodies of several national professional organizations, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Eastern Sociological Society, and Alpha Kappa Delta, the sociological honors society. She is the 2009 recipient of the Saltzman Award for Contributions to Practice, awarded by the Women and Crime Division of the American Society of Criminology, and the 2011 recipient of the Lee Founders Award, from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
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Table of Contents

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
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
'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
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
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
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