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Doing Research on Sensitive Topics



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Doing Research on Sensitive Topics by Raymond Lee
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This book is a clear, comprehensive guide to the methodological, ethical and practical issues involved in undertaking research on sensitive topics. The author explores the reasons why social research may be politically and socially contentious: its relation to issues of social power, its capacity to encroach on people's lives, and its potentially problematic nature for the researcher. He assesses the key questions in how to undertake sensitive research: the choice of methodologies for sensitive research; problems of estimating the size of hidden populations; questions of sampling, surveying and interviewing; sensitivity in access and in the handling of data. The book also discusses the political and ethical issues implicit in the relations between the researcher and the researched and in the disclosure, dissemination and publication of research.

Author Biography

Raymond M Lee is Lecturer in Social Research Methods, Department of Social Policy and Social Science, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London. His own research interests encompass a number of 'sensitive' topics, including Catholic-Protestant intermarriage in Northern Ireland and the operation of the underground economy. He is the joint editor of Researching Sensitive Topics (Renzetti and Lee, eds, SAGE 1992) and Using Computers in Qualitative Research (Fielding and Lee, eds, SAGE 1991).
Release date NZ
March 16th, 1993
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
SAGE Publications Ltd
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