Shadowing the Night People: A Methodological Postscript
This postscript provides a detailed account of the research design and methodology of the PhD project upon which the book is based. Issues addressed include those of the selection of research settings, access to restricted data and powerful groups, reflexivity, ethics, and emotional management. The chapter describes how aspects of the author's personal biography helped shape the topics under investigation, the content and form of the fieldwork conducted, and the research activities and roles he assumed. It recounts how various unanticipated events, hurdles, and opportunities arose leading to the creation of both ‘dead ends’ and exciting emergent themes. It therefore illustrates the advantages of adopting or building-in inductive and exploratory techniques as part of a qualitative or mixed-method approach to social research. Clear benefits were accrued from embracing such ‘flexibility’ in the form of opportunities to gain more nuanced and complex understandings of the topic, forge interdisciplinary connections, and garner more rich and valid data.
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