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Book

The Sensitive Researcher: Introduction to Researching Vulnerable People

Starting research from the standpoint of the oppressed is valid because it is often the lives and experiences of oppressed people that provide significant insight and perspective. Complex human relations can become visible when research is started at the bottom of the social hierarchy. (Hesse-Biber et al. 2004: 16) The goal of research is ‘that of discerning and uncovering the actual facts of [people's]’ lives and experience, facts that have been hidden, inaccessible, suppressed, distorted, misunderstood, ignored’. (DuBois 1985, cited in Bergen 1993: 200) In this chapter, readers will be introduced to the following issues: An preamble to the text. The concepts of the vulnerable population and sensitive research. The utilisation of qualitative research in researching vulnerable people. A theoretical framework including feminist research and postmodernism. It is almost inevitable in the present climate of our fractured world that sensitive researchers will have to engage with the vulnerable, disadvantaged and ...

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