Taking sides with Swedish protesters : gaining and maintaining trust in the field

Vestergren, SK ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0514-6749 and Drury, J 2020, 'Taking sides with Swedish protesters : gaining and maintaining trust in the field' , in: Researching peace and conflict: Field experiences and methodological reflections , Springer. (In Press)

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Abstract

Researching protests and activism can contain various challenges, even more so when then the researcher embeds themselves in the protest context. Based on an ethnographic study of an environmental campaign in Sweden we will in this chapter discuss the challenges and risks the first author faced when collecting longitudinal interview and observational data. More specifically, we discuss challenges and risks related to; gaining access to a protest setting, gaining access to people, gaining access to stories, maintaining access and trust, and becoming vulnerable and at risk in the field. In particular we discuss advantages, and risks, of the researcher taking sides and positioning themselves on one side of the conflict. We argue that, in the study of the Swedish environmental campaign, taking sides made us better positioned to give a more accurate account of the campaign and campaign participants through understanding the context and phenomena. We will also suggest that taking sides and becoming part of the group – sharing identity – can in some studies increase the researcher’s safety while in the field. We highlight the need for continuous negotiations and consideration while in the field to ensure both the participants’ and researcher’s safety and privacy.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Gülsüm Acar, Y, Moss, SM and Uluğ, OM
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Researching peace and conflict: Field experiences and methodological reflections
Publisher: Springer
Depositing User: SK Vestergren
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2020 13:14
Last Modified: 22 May 2020 14:30
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/56848

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