Ethnographic research in a Police Youth Unit: Reflecting about experienced methodological issues

Camille Claeys, Els Dumortier, Sofie De Kimpe

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)


This paper derives from the fieldwork experience of a female PhD student, doing qualitative ethnographic research in the field of police interrogations of juvenile offenders. As there has never been any empirical research in Belgium on how police interrogates juvenile offenders in daily practice, the researcher wants to discover through fieldwork (more specifically observations and complementary interviews) how the interrogations are conducted.
After her first steps into the field (a belgian Police Youth Unit) and drawing on her first empirical data, the researcher reflects on the approach she used to access the field and on her personal 'baggage'. She also reflects about several methodological issues such as: the role as an observer and avoiding overidentification. As reflecting about these issues (arising from both the research aims and the research context) affects the way we approach our research and interpret our data - and because reflection about this topic is sometimes overlooked in literature - the researcher believes this reflection is significant from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view. Methods are a crucial part of the scientific enterprise and reflexivity offers an opportunity to discuss and overthink them. Consequently, this paper underlines the relevance of reflecting about methodology and is intended as a contribution to the discussions about qualitative research methods in a police setting. The researcher hopes that the issues that are been discussed, based on her experience, will benefit other qualitative researchers.
Originele taal-2English
TitelGERN Doctoral Summer School, Porto, 3-7 september 2014
StatusPublished - 7 sep 2014
EvenementGERN Doctoral Summer School - Porto, Portugal
Duur: 4 sep 20146 sep 2014


ConferenceGERN Doctoral Summer School


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Ethnographic research in a Police Youth Unit: Reflecting about experienced methodological issues'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit