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Access
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (EmoJI)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3522-4963
2019 (English)In: SAGE Research Methods Foundations / [ed] edited by Paul Atkinson, Sara Delamont, Melissa Hardy, Malcolm Williams, London: Sage Publications, 2019Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Access is the process of establishing rapport with a field containing different phases without an articulated end. Qualitative research often involves studying people in their social setting, documenting action and meaning making in relation to the field in which it occurs through ethnographic methods such as observations, shadowing and interviews. Gaining permission to a site or a specific group of people is essential to collect research data. Permission typically includes gaining approval from an ethics review board, and from organizations or collectives that make up the research site but, most importantly, from the individuals whose actions and meaning making the researcher wants to understand. Gaining and maintaining access builds on feelings of trust and interest and can therefore not be secured once and for all; it remains a continuous process throughout the data collection phase of a research project. The issues and obstacles encountered when gaining access demand practical solutions in the moment but can also give important analytical insights about the field itself. This article first discusses formal access and the role of gatekeepers, and then develops the importance of trust and interest to secure access. Access is thereafter problematized in relation to proximity to the field and in relation to the position of the researcher vis-à-vis the informants. Finally, the emotion management involved in gaining and maintaining access is elaborated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Sage Publications, 2019.
Keywords [en]
gatekeeper, trust, rapport, proximity, honesty, elite, vulnerable groups, emotion management
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-360368DOI: 10.4135/9781526421036808803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-360368DiVA, id: diva2:1353689
Available from: 2019-09-23 Created: 2019-09-23 Last updated: 2019-09-25

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Bergman Blix, Stina

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